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Mickey Mouse, Meet Wolverine: Disney to Acquire Marvel

Mickey and Co. are about to get some new super-powered friends.

Disney today announces its acquisition of Marvel Entertainment, in a deal worth roughly $4 billion, under which the Mouse House will attain control over Marvel's vast portfolio of properties and characters.

"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 in a statement. "Ike Perlmutter and his team have done an impressive job of nurturing these properties and have created significant value. We are pleased to bring this talent and these great assets to Disney. We believe that adding Marvel to Disney’s unique portfolio of brands provides significant opportunities for long-term growth and value creation."

The acquisition is expected to be announced at Disney's investors call at 7:15 am PT this morning; the deal--comprised of a stock and cash transaction--will still need to be approved by Marvel's shareholders. Those shareholders "would receive a total of $30 per share in cash plus approximately 0.745 Disney shares for each Marvel share they own," according to materials released by Disney ahead of the investors call.

The full press release from Disney announcing the acquisition can be found below.

DISNEY TO ACQUIRE MARVEL ENTERTAINMENT

Worldwide leader in family entertainment agrees to acquire
Marvel and its portfolio of over 5,000 characters


Acquisition highlights Disney’s strategic focus on quality branded content, technological innovation and international expansion to build long-term shareholder value

Burbank, CA and New York, NY, August 31, 2009 —Building on its strategy of delivering quality branded content to people around the world, The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) has agreed to acquire Marvel Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE:MVL) in a stock and cash transaction, the companies announced today.

Under the terms of the agreement and based on the closing price of Disney on August 28, 2009, Marvel shareholders would receive a total of $30 per share in cash plus approximately 0.745 Disney shares for each Marvel share they own. At closing, the amount of cash and stock will be adjusted if necessary so that the total value of the Disney stock issued as merger consideration based on its trading value at that time is not less than 40% of the total merger consideration.

Based on the closing price of Disney stock on Friday, August 28, the transaction value is $50 per Marvel share or approximately $4 billion.

“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. “Ike Perlmutter and his team have done an impressive job of nurturing these properties and have created significant value. We are pleased to bring this talent and these great assets to Disney.”

“We believe that adding Marvel to Disney’s unique portfolio of brands provides significant opportunities for long-term growth and value creation,” Iger said.

“Disney is the perfect home for Marvel’s fantastic library of characters given its proven ability to expand content creation and licensing businesses,” said Ike Perlmutter, Marvel’s Chief Executive Officer. “This is an unparalleled opportunity for Marvel to build upon its vibrant brand and character properties by accessing Disney’s tremendous global organization and infrastructure around the world.”

Under the deal, Disney will acquire ownership of Marvel including its more than 5,000 Marvel characters. Mr. Perlmutter will oversee the Marvel properties, and will work directly with Disney’s global lines of business to build and further integrate Marvel’s properties.

The Boards of Directors of Disney and Marvel have each approved the transaction, which is subject to clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act, certain non-United States merger control regulations, effectiveness of a registration statement with respect to Disney shares issued in the transaction and other customary closing conditions. The agreement will require the approval of Marvel shareholders. Marvel was advised on the transaction by BofA Merrill Lynch.

Comments

Anonymous said…
NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WTF?
Brodie said…
Argh. This is not cool.
Chris R said…
Hey Mickey your so fine, your so fine you blow my mind, hey Mickey!

I'm curious what will happen to the theme parks now.
HipHopAnonymous said…
Huh. Not sure what to make of this. Probably brilliant for Disney as Marvel can provide them with an almost endless supply of properties to develop. Hopefully this also means an upgrade for Marvel's various animation projects, which have all been pretty subpar over the years. And I imagine it's just a matter of time before we see Jerry Bruckheimer doing a Black Panther (Will Smith?) or Dr. Strange (Johnny Depp?) movie.

But I'm really wondering about the publishing side. I have to believe that this will eventually have a tremendous impact on the types of books that Marvel produces. As well as their overall brand as a comics company. How can it not?
Anonymous said…
NOOOOOOOooooo!!!! Wolverine is going to style his hair like Mickey Mouse ears. If they make him dance and play to the M-I-C-K-E-Y song I think I will lose him as my favorite character forever.
Anonymous said…
Worst part is that Disney bought it, like that grandmother who bought Grand Theft Auto IV for her grandkid without even reading the ESRB or understanding the content.

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