Disney to acquire Marvel in deal worth $4 billion
The Walt Disney Co. today announced that it had agreed to acquire comic-book giant Marvel Entertainment, creator of such characters as Iron Man and Spider-Man, in a cash-and-stock deal worth an estimated $4 billion.
The acquisition would give Disney access to a library of more than 5,000 characters -- several of whom have inspired major films for other Hollywood studios. Marvel, meanwhile, gains the clout of Disney's ability to take a popular character and make money on it through films, television and licensed merchandise.
“We believe that adding Marvel to Disney’s unique portfolio of brands provides significant opportunities for long-term growth and value creation,” said Disney President and Chief Executive Robert A. Iger.
Under the deal, Disney will acquire ownership of Marvel, including its more than 5,000 characters. Ike Perlmutter, the comic-book company's chief executive officer, will oversee the properties and work directly with Disney to build and integrate Marvel’s properties.
Iger has shown a willingness to make key acquisitions to bolster the company. In 2006, he negotiated a $7.4-billion deal that brought Pixar Animation Studios, the creator of such successful films as "Toy Story" and "Cars," in house.
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-- Dawn C. Chmielewski