MediaFile

Viacom: Don’t look to us for major dealmaking

After Comcast-NBC Universal, investment bankers are clearly drooling at the thought of some big money wheeling and dealing in the media business. Probably best not to count too heavily on Viacom being a player.

Viacom Chief Executive Philippe Dauman, speaking at the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference, was asked about his company’s interest in acquisitions. His response was less than inspiring if you’re thinking about blockbuster deals:  “I’ll tell you the kind of acquisition we like. We recent bought the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for $60 million.”

While Dauman said Viacom would also consider looking at some independent cable networks in the U.S. or overseas, he made it know that “we are not interested in making the big splashy acquisition out there.”

Michael Eisner, who interviewed Dauman, also asked whether Viacom itself could be a takeover target in light of the Comcast-NBC Universal deal. (Recall, both these guys have danced with Comcast. It made a hostile bid for Disney when Eisner was still running the show, and is said to have recently looked at buying Viacom).

To paraphrase Dauman, who put it more diplomatically, Sumner Redstone is not about to sell Viacom to a cable company or anybody else.  It is, after all, the love of his life.

Is Comcast on the prowl for Big Media ?

Comcast made a bold $54 billion bid for Walt Disney Co. in 2004. It failed — but there are those who wonder today if the cable provider might be considering a play for another media giant.

Reuters’ Yinka Adegoke takes a look at this idea in a story that recounts the speculation about Comcast’s desire to be a major player in Big Media.

Stockholders, who have watched the value of Comcast shares shrink to historical lows, might not be so thrilled about such a move.