Source Pravda.Ru

Walt Disney to Buy Marvel in $4 Billion Deal

Walt Disney Co. said it plans to buy Marvel Entertainment Inc for $4 billion in a deal that would add characters like Iron Man, Spider-Man, and the Fantastic Four to its entertainment empire. Marvel shar es last traded at $48.40, up 25.2 percent from their closing price on Friday. Disney shares closed at $26.84 on Friday, Reuters informs.

The acquisition would give Disney access to a library of more than 5,000 characters -- several of whom have inspired major films for other Hollywood studios. Marvel, meanwhile, gains the clout of Disney's ability to take a popular character and make money on it through films, television and licensed merchandise.

"We believe that adding Marvel to Disney’s unique portfolio of brands provides significant opportunities for long-term growth and value creation," said Disney President and Chief Executive Robert A. Iger, Los Angeles Times informs.

Disney said Marvel shareholders will receive $30 per share in cash, plus 0.745 Disney shares for every Marvel share they own. That values each Marvel share at $50 based on Friday's closing stock prices.

Marvel shares jumped $10.17, or 26 percent, to $48.82 shortly after the market opened. Disney shares fell 47 cents, or 1.8 percent, to $26.37.

Disney said the boards of both companies have approved the transaction, but it will require an antitrust review and the approval of Marvel shareholders.

Disney CEO Robert Iger said the acquisition combines Marvel's "strong global brand and world-renowned library of characters" with Disney's "unparalleled global portfolio of entertainment properties" and ability to maximize value across multiple platforms and territories, The Associated Press reports.

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