Disney shares hit a their lowest price six years on Thursday when major shareholders the Bass brothers dumped a huge block of shares, at a steep discount to recent market prices.
Sid and Lee Bass unloaded 135 million Disney shares - more than 6% of Disney's outstanding stock-for around $2 billion. Disney bought back 50 million of the shares "at a discount to the current market price" while the remaining 85 million shares were picked up by investment banker Goldman Sachs, which turned to resell them in the open market at $15 per share. That's down 19% from the previous day's close.
In late morning trading on Friday, Disney was selling at $17.50 per share, up 50 cents from Thursday's close.
CNBC reported that the Bass brothers sold the stock to meet a margin call, repaying money they had borrowed against their Disney shares. The Bass' picked up the stock in 1984 when they made a run to take over Disney. They remained major investors for years.John M. Higgins