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HomeMarketDisney Sees Restructuring Impairment Charges. Bob Iger Is Moving Fast.

Disney Sees Restructuring Impairment Charges. Bob Iger Is Moving Fast.

Disney’s media and entertainment distribution business could be included in the restructuring, it said.

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Photograph by Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images

Bob Iger’s restructuring plan for
Disney
could result in impairment charges, the company said in a filing late Tuesday, in the strongest sign yet that significant changes are on the way for the media and entertainment giant.

The circumstances around Iger’s comeback, after a weak fourth quarter in which its streaming business posted a loss of $1.47 billion, suggests changes ahead–even though he has only agreed to stay on until 2024. 

The returning CEO told employees at a town hall earlier this week that making the company’s streaming business, which includes Disney+, profitable is one of his top priorities. He added that he will empower Disney’s creative teams and spend money where it would add value for the company, and doesn’t plan to alter the hiring freeze his predecessor Bob Chapek began earlier this month.

In a filing Tuesday, the company said it anticipates Iger will initiate “organizational and operating changes,” noting that while the plans were in the early stages, they could include structural changes to Disney’s media and entertainment distribution segment. 

“The restructuring and change in business strategy, once determined, could result in impairment charges,” Disney said in a filing.

Iger reportedly told staff not to expect any headlines soon about deals. However, the potential spinoff of ESPN is likely to remain in focus. Activist investor Dan Loeb had urged the company to sell ESPN earlier this year before withdrawing that call after gaining a “better understanding” of its potential for growth.

The sports cable network lost 2 million subscribers, according to the annual report, falling to 74 million in the year ending Oct.1. The Disney Channel also lost 2 million subscribers.

Chapek said ESPN was critical to his vision for the company, despite a number of offers for the network.

But he’s now gone and Iger is back, with just two years to have an impact. It sounds like he’s getting to work quickly.

Write to Callum Keown at callum.keown@barrons.com

Credit: marketwatch.com

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