In a shocking announcement, The Walt Disney Company has agreed to purchase Marvel Entertainment for $4 Billion in cash and stock. Under the deal, Disney will acquire ownership of Marvel including more than 5,000 Marvel characters including “Iron Man”, “Spider-Man”, “X-Men”, “Captain America”, “Fantastic Four” and “Thor”. So what does that mean for your favorite characters and their upcoming films? It’s after the jump:
The first thing every fanboy and girl needs to do is take a breath. The “Iron Man” sequel is still coming next summer. “Thor” and “Captain America” will still be the next films.
What everyone has to remember is Marvel has existing contracts with the Hollywood studios for some of their properties. In fact, Paramount and Marvel recently re-upped their deal, so the next few Marvel films are still being distributed by Paramount. Also, 20th Century Fox still has “X-Men”, and Sony still owns the rights to make “Spider-Man” movies.
I don’t know what the contracts call for, but with Disney buying Marvel, I’d imagine whenever a contract runs out the character is never going to be for sale again. Marvel has already talked about not wanting to sell their characters anymore, and with the financial freedom that Disney provides, it’s officially over.
What will be interesting to see is how this deal effects the way Marvel makes their movies. One of the reasons the Marvel films are so good is the company has a small but passionate executive staff and they don’t have to answer to tons of people trying to offer pointless notes. On the set of “Iron Man 2″, I saw firsthand how Marvel makes movies and they’re a incredibly well oiled machine that knows how to do it right. I really hope Disney is going to keep the system as is.
Other things to think about because of this deal is Pixar and ABC. Since Pixar and Disney are the same company, could that mean a Marvel character ends up as a Pixar film? Also, since ABC is part of Disney, we could be getting a Marvel character as a weekly TV show. The possibilities are endless, and that’s why Disney just spent $4 Billion dollars.
Ultimately, this deal is an incredible opportunity for both companies. Disney now owns the super-hero genre and they have the amusement parks and infrastructure to market the shit out of the films.
Here’s the press release. Make no mistake, this is a huge story that will be talked about for the foreseeable future. Expect updates as we get them.
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.