Disney to Acquire Marvel Entertainment

Disney is getting ready to buy Marvel Entertainment in a stock and cash transaction for the amount of $4 billion. Under the terms of the deal, Marvel shareholders would receive $30 per share in cash plus approximately 0.745 Disney shares for each Marvel share they own. Based on the closing price of Disney stock on Friday, the transaction value is $50 per Marvel share or approximately $4 billion.

As a result of this move, Disney will have ownership of around 7,000 Marvel characters, including Iron Man, Spider-Man, X-Men, Captain America, Fantastic Four and Thor. The two companies’ boards have approved the deal, which is subject to antitrust review and the approval of Marvel shareholders.

Regarding this latest acquisition, Disney president and CEO Robert A. Iger noted, ‘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.” 

Business analysts agree that this move is similar to the Warner/D.C. alignment. It’s important to point out that Paramount still has a five-film distribution deal with Marvel, and Bob Iger has confirmed that Marvel’s upcoming films will be released by Paramount. Also, Sony’s Spider-Man motion picture rights deal is unaffected by today’s announcement. Universal also issued a statement confirming that Universal’s Island of Adventure will continue to house Marvel’s Super Hero Island. According to DeadlineHollywoodDaily.com, Universal theme parks have a long-term licensing deal with Marvel that gives them the rights to the characters.