Walt Disney Acquires Marvel Entertainment for $4 Billion!
by Alex Billington
August 31, 2009
Building on its strategy of delivering quality branded content to people around the world, The Walt Disney Company has agreed to acquire Marvel Entertainment, Inc. in a stock and cash transaction, the companies announced today. Based on the closing price of Disney stock on Friday, August 28th, the transaction value is $50 per Marvel share or approximately $4 billion. Under the deal, Disney will acquire ownership of Marvel including its more than 5,000 Marvel characters. This is huge news and if Disney also arranges a distriution partnership with Steven Spielberg's DreamWorks, they'll be a true powerhouse.
"This transaction combines Marvel's strong global brand and world-renowned library of characters including Iron Man, Spider-Man, X-Men, Captain America, Fantastic Four and Thor with Disney's creative skills, unparalleled global portfolio of entertainment properties, and a business structure that maximizes the value of creative properties across multiple platforms and territories,” said Robert A. Iger, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company, today. "We believe that adding Marvel to Disney’s unique portfolio of brands provides significant opportunities for long-term growth and value creation."
In regards to movies, Paramount will maintain their arrangement to distribute five upcoming Marvel Studios films, including Iron Man 2, Thor, Captain America, and The Avengers. All other deals for movies for characters at other studios (e.g. Spider-Man, X-Men) will stay in place under the terms originally set by Marvel. Disney would like to start distributing Marvel movies down the line, saying "when the time comes we'll take a closer look at it." John Lasseter met last week about a possible team-up between Marvel and Pixar and apparently got "pretty excited, pretty fast." They say there's definitely an opportunity there.
We'll definitely keep you updated on all the latest regarding this groundbreaking deal, including further implications and changes and what we can expect from both Marvel and Disney now. I will be the first to say that this is fantastic news. Disney is a strong brand and one of the smartest studios in the world and they will only become a stronger, better brand as a result of this acquisition. We may not see the impact in the movie business immediately, but it will eventually be felt. You can read more over on the New York Times.