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View Full Version : When Did Disney Go Public?



smd4
09-01-2004, 02:16 PM
I searched this forum a few times, but couldn't find anything. Sorry if this has been asked before.

Alex S.
09-01-2004, 03:08 PM
http://corporate.disney.go.com/investors/stock_history.html

Looks like November 12, 1957 and it closed at $13.875.

That one share would equal 768 shares today (due to 7 splits over the years). At today's close that is $17,233.92 worth of Disney. At the all time high for Disney stock that would have been about $33,000 worth.

smd4
09-01-2004, 03:16 PM
Thanks.

My kingdom for a time machine... :(

merlinjones
09-01-2004, 03:18 PM
Not so.

From "Building a Company: Roy O. Disney and the Creation of an Entertainment Empire" by Bob Thomas:

"Walt had long opposed a public stock offering, fearing that his total autonomy over creative matters might be challenged by investors. At Roy's insistence, Walt agreed to issuance of preferred and common stock in April, 1940."

JeffG
09-01-2004, 03:34 PM
Not so.

From "Building a Company: Roy O. Disney and the Creation of an Entertainment Empire" by Bob Thomas:

"Walt had long opposed a public stock offering, fearing that his total autonomy over creative matters might be challenged by investors. At Roy's insistence, Walt agreed to issuance of preferred and common stock in April, 1940."

I suspect that book is wrong. I would tend to trust the company's official stock history over a third-party account.


-Jeff

merlinjones
09-01-2004, 06:25 PM
Bob Thomas wrote both official studio biographies for Walt and Roy - - and wrote for the Disneys even while they were living (The Art of Animation, 1958).

The Disney's had to raise this capitol in 1940 to cover the production costs of Pinocchio, Fantasia and Bambi. They were in severe debt to Bank of America for the next 17 years or so... and would have had no choice but to go public during the 40's.

Alex S.
09-01-2004, 06:30 PM
I'll do some more looking. I too had thought it was earlier when I started searching (probably remembering for the Bob Thomas book) but stopped when I found that page.

Let you know if I find anything.

Alex S.
09-01-2004, 06:38 PM
Well, it was listed on the New York Stock Exchange on 11/12/1957:

http://www.newyorkstockexchange.com/listed/dis.html

Shares may have been on a different exchange before then. Still looking.

Alex S.
09-01-2004, 06:56 PM
Ok, here is another source for the 1940 date. Between the two, it indicates that the financial cost of the new studio in Burbank and the financial losses on Pinnochio, Dumbo, and Bambi were the impetus.

Understanding Disney: The Manufacture of Fantasy by Janet Wasko (page 15):

"Along with the company's success, its debts grew had grown as well. So before completing the move to the new Burbank headquarters, the company issued 155,000 shares of preferred stock and 600,000 shares of common stock. Though the company had incorporated in 1929, until now, all its stock remained privately held. In 1938, 45,000 were owned by Walt and Lillian Disney, and 30,000 shares by Roy and Edna Disney. While the stock sold quickly and provided needed capital for the company, it diluted the Disney's ownership control of the company."

The footnote credits Thomas, though.

I have no doubt it is correct.

Mark Goldhaber
09-01-2004, 09:51 PM
Most likely, the 1940 issue was still privately placed with select financiers and/or institutions, who kept the stock for themselves. 1957 is probably when the stock became available to the general public. Of course, this is all speculation and I could be wrong.