Disney Buys Marvel
When I saw this headline this morning, I had to double-check the calendar to confirm that it wasn’t April. But this press release is posted to the official Disney site. (
At the time of this writing, nothing is available at the Marvel news site. And here’s Marvel’s post. (Link no longer available.))
DISNEY TO ACQUIRE MARVEL ENTERTAINMENT
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.”
“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.
It goes on to say that each company’s Boards of Directors have approved the acquisition, while Marvel shareholders still have to approve the deal. Investors can hear more today at approximately 10:15 AM during a webcast.
This is quite a change for Marvel, although in terms of corporate synergy, it makes sense, and it brings them to a more similar place to that of their major competitor, since DC Comics is owned by global entertainment company Time Warner.
$4 billion dollars for a comic company! Who knew? I’m surprised that this seemed completely unexpected, with no rumors or concerns about Marvel being for sale.
Wow! It just occurred to me — this could mean a big deal for Universal Studios’ theme park, which has rides based on the Marvel characters. Won’t Disney want those properties for their own parks? I suspect many many ramifications like this are going to work themselves out over the next few months, past whenever the deal closes. Another question: Disney comics are put out by Boom! Studios — will that change?