We’re not in active talks with BuzzFeed: Disney CEO

Disney: Confident on $800 million China expansion

The Walt Disney Company had conversations with BuzzFeed months ago but is not currently in active talks with the entertainment website, Disney CEO Bob Iger told CNBC.

"The only thing that I will say is we had some conversations with BuzzFeed months ago, there's nothing active right now," Iger said late Monday when asked about a Fortune report that Walt Disney was in talks earlier this year to buy BuzzFeed.

"I like Buzzfeed a lot. I think they have done a great job. I like that media space – it's a truly new media platform in many respects – we ended up buying Maker Studios," Iger said. "It's not quite the same, but there are some similarities – short-form video, viral video. So, I think … at this point we have a full hand in that space."

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Last month, Disney agreed to buy Maker Studios, one of YouTube's biggest networks, for $500 million in a deal that makes Disney a major distributor of online video.

According to the report in Fortune, talks between Disney and BuzzFeed broke down over price, with BuzzFeed seeking upwards of $1 billion.

Robert 'Bob' Iger, chairman and chief executive officer of The Walt Disney Co..
Patrick T. Fallon | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Speaking about the building of Shanghai Disneyland, Iger said he expected an additional $800 million investment in the Chinese theme park.

"We decided with our partners in the Shanghai government to accelerate the expansion of the park – that we always figured would be expanded," Iger said.

"We thought it would be smarter to expand faster, so the intention is for this additional $800 million investment to be ready for the most part, when we open in late 2015," he added.

Disney and Shanghai Shendi Group, a consortium of state-owned companies, have already committed to spend $4.7 billion on the theme park resort, according to media reports.

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Disney has said the investment in Shanghai Disneyland reflects opportunities in China, the world's second-biggest economy and home to a billion consumers.

"When people have babies that I know and I send them a Disney baby gift, I usually write thanks for supporting our strategic priorities," Iger joked on CNBC.

"The relaxation of the one- child policy – obviously a good fact for us – was not factored into this [investment] decision," he added, referring to a decision by China late last year to relax its controversial one-child policy.