Disney Acquires Marvel

Posted by Grey Tuesday, September 1, 2009


Brave yourself, Marvel Zombies! For when Marvel boldly go where no superheroes had gone before, you gonna need all the war-cries there is out there.

It's official. Marvel Entertainment, affectionately known as "The House of Ideas" has been acquired by Disney.

For those who actually cares about the details and figures behind the stellar deal, here's an excerpt from the Official Press Release from Disney:-

Building on its strategy of delivering quality branded content to people around the world, The Walt Disney Company (DIS) has agreed to acquire Marvel Entertainment, Inc. (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.

In summary, copyrights of all 5,000 over Marvel characters are now at Disney's disposal, notwithstanding, amongst other subsidiaries, the toy division, Marvel Toys (formerly Toy Biz), the comic publishing wing, Marvel Publishing, Inc., the animation wing, Marvel Animation, and, yes, where the money are... Marvel Studios, the film producing studio, of which its joint production with Paramount Films, Iron Man had generated half a billion by its own. That, is a cash cow the size of Galactus.

Nevertheless, Disney had earlier indicated that they have every intention to respect Paramount's distribution deal with Marvel and the ongoing Avengers franchise, but honestly stated that it is in their best interest, overtime, to become the sole distributor of Marvel Films. Likewise for existing licensing and distribution deals.

In assuring the gun-carrying Marvel Zombies, Disney references the Pixar deal (which Disney bought in 2006 for $7.4-billion) and will manage Marvel in the very same vein of hands-off relationship they had with the avant-garde animators. Additionally, much praises was handed out by Disney to Marvel towards the licensing in all aspects, particularly the video gaming and film adaptations. Incidentally, the Disney cable channel Disney XD is already running about 20 hours a week of Marvel content currently, which expectedly will be going much higher moving forward.

All seemed to be in bliss with the killer merger, with Stan Lee's full endorsements, Joe Quesada, the current Editor-In-Chief of Marvel twittering happily and the fact that Pixar’s John Lasseter has already met with key Marvel creative executives and are looking into potential partnerships.

Marvel, with its fairshare of hardships(changing hands of ownership in the 80s, enduring the bankruptcy in the 90s, etc), is now entering the next stage. This is not unlike DC Comics' purchase by Warner Bros back in 1969. Back then, Warner Bros already owns Looney Tunes and its assorted cartoon characters but still reaches out for the comic characters. And time had proven that deal a most fruitful one. I am not concerned with Marvel's future hampered with X-Men getting all High School Musical, Hannah Montana joining the Avengers (Dark, Mighty or New) like what most of the online communities are murmuring about. That is not going to happen. Marvel will grow with a much steady hand at helm. Makes Stan Lee's welcome comments all the more resonating.

However, there are indeed some killer crossover that you gotta keep an eye on, say, the final battle between the ducks... I'm sure comic-reading folks are pretty much familiar with the single and very much long-standing feud between Howard The Duck and Donald Duck? Let the Ducks duke it out...

Howard The Duck VS Donald Duck!

For further reading, check out the industry reaction to the merge covered by comicbookresources.


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