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Disney to Buy Marvel

In a surprising move, Disney announced that they will be acquiring Marvel Entertainment for $4 billion in cash and stock. Disney will acquire rights to 5,000 Marvel characters including beloved X-Men and Fantastic Four. 

In a strategic move to try to conquer a bigger male following, Disney expects to close the deal by the end of the year. Both Disney and Marvel seem to think the deal is a wonderful idea.

From Disney: Disney CEO Robert Iger said Marvel’s comic books, TV shows, movies and video games amounted to “a treasure trove of content.” Iger said the deal would bring benefits like the ones Disney got from buying “Toy Story” creator Pixar Animation Studios Inc. for $7.4 billion in stock in 2006.

For Marvel, Iger said being in the “Disney camp” would mean better global distribution and better relationships with retailers to sell its products. (It was having problems with this before?) Other comic book maker, DC Comics, has been under the wings of Warner Bros. when they bought the home of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman in 1969.

From Marvel: Marvel Chairman Mort Handel called Disney “a perfect home for our great collection of characters.”

Marvel Entertainment shareholders will receive $30 a share in cash and 0.745 Disney share per Marvel share. This values current Marvel stock at roughly $50.

You may have noticed that Disney already features Marvel shows on their night time cartoon lineup including Marvel titles Spider-man, X-Men, The Incredible Hulk, The Avengers, Spider-man Unlimited, Fantastic Four, and Iron Man.

Both companies have approved the deal and it must now go through antitrust review before it can be finalized.

So what now? What about the movies? Iron Man 2, Spiderman 4, Thor, Captain America? Disney had said it would honor Marvel’s previous third party deals and re-examine them when they expire.

Though the Disney acquisition of Pixar has seemingly been worthwhile, this Disney/Marvel unity just doesn’t seem to sit right.