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Tag Archives: Acquisition

July 18

July 18, 1978 – Lake Buena Vista Office Plaza Opens

On July 18, 1978, the Lake Buena Vista Office Plaza opened in Walt Disney World. Also known as the Sun Bank Building and the SunTrust Building, the office was shared by Sun Bank (currently known as SunTrust), which operates the ground floor, and Disney, who keeps their offices on the upper floors. This building was Disney’s attempt to build many office complexes in the Lake Buena Vista area.

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July 1

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July 1, 2010 – Disney Announces the Acquisition of Tapulous, Inc.

“It definitely is a strategic move and it highlights the importance we put on mobile.” – President of Disney Interactive Group, Steve Wadsworth

On July 1, 2010, Disney announced that they had purchased the mobile game company Tapulous, Inc., creator of the popular Tap Tap Revenge. This decision was made so that Disney could move into the platform for mobile games, particularly in the Silicon Valley area; it was announced that the new subsidiary would remain in Palo Alto. This is the first sort of deal of its kind for the Walt Disney Company, and began Disney’s expansion into other mobile games.

March 31

March 31, 1999 – Disney Completes Purchase of the California Angels

On March 31, 1999, the Walt Disney Company completed its purchase of the California Angels baseball team, following the death of actor Gene Autry. Disney first announced its intentions in buying a stake in the baseball team on May 18, 1995, purchasing about 25% from Autry, who was the owner of the team. Disney finished their acquisition of this stake almost a year later in 1996, and Disney Sports Enterprises became the team’s Managing General Partner. Disney also invested about $100 million in renovating the Anaheim Stadium, which was completed in 1998. Although Disney bought the entire team in 1999, they would eventually sell the team on May 22, 2003.

January 21

January 21, 1988 – Disney Acquires The Wrather Corporation

“Disney has great capabilities and will take our properties onto greater heights.” – Bonita Granville Wrather

On January 21, 1988, Disney finished the $152.3 million dollar acquisition process of the Wrather Corporation, which included the acquisition of the Disneyland Hotel. The relationship between The Walt Disney Company and The Wrather Corporation began back in 1955; Walt had realized the need for a hotel near the new theme park, but did not have the funds to create it, and convinced his friend Jack Wrather to build a hotel across the street. The hotel continued to grow through the years, eventually having three towers (originally named the Bonita, Marina, and Sierra). Throughout the years, Disney attempted to purchase the hotel, as it was seen as awkward that Disney did not own something with its name attached. When the deal was finalized in 1988, Disney not only acquired the hotel, but acres of land for potential expansion, and the lease to operate the RMS Queen Mary in Long Beach, California

January 12

January 12, 1999 – The GO Network is Launched

On January 12, 1999, the internet portal site GO Network was launched in a joint production between Disney and Infoseek. The GO Network offered a variety of services, including chat rooms, search engines, email, and a news service. In November of that year, Disney presented a deal to, and was approved by, stakeholders to spinoff the Go Network with GO.com, and purchased Infoseek (which would merge with the Buena Vista Internet Group. On November 18, the first shares of GO.com began trading on the New York Stock Exchange. In 2001, Disney announced that GO.com would be closing, including all the offshoot directories and the stock tracker.

December 10

December 10, 1992 – The NHL Awards a Franchise to the Walt Disney Company

“The Walt Disney Co. is betting that the NHL has recovered from a period of spotty popularity to emerge as the professional sport with the best investment potential, especially in regards to international expansion.”

On December 10, 1992, the NHL officially awarded a new franchise to the Walt Disney Company, which was part of a larger expansion detail that also gave a team to South Florida (which would become the Florida Panthers). The team awarded to Disney became the Mighty Ducks, named after the surprise hit film The Mighty Ducks. The team began to play during the 1993-1994 season. The team played their first game on September 18, 1993. Disney would end up selling the Mighty Ducks in 2005, with the sale final on June 20, 2005.

December 2

December 2, 1988 – Disney Acquires KHJ Television Station

On December 2, 1988, The Walt Disney Company finished their acquisition of the Los Angeles-based television station KHJ. The station, originally owned by RKO, had been made available due to corporate issues; Disney had to purchase the license from Fidelity Television, while purchasing the intellectual property from RKO. Once Disney purchased the station, the call letters were changed to KCAL, and was eventually changed to K-CAL 9 in the mid-90s. The station ran Disney’s syndicated animated series, such as the lineup of the Disney Afternoon, as well as investing in other family-oriented series. Disney would eventually sell K-CAL 9 to CBS on February 14, 2002.