Disney to Buy Marvel Comics for $4 Billion

Juxtapoz // Tuesday, 01 Sep 2009
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“Disney said on Monday that it would pay cash and stock to acquire Marvel, the comic book publisher and movie studio whose library of 5,000 characters includes some of the world’s best-known superheroes: Spider-Man, the X-Men, Thor, Iron Man and the Fantastic Four.

“The deal was valued at about $50 a share, a 29 percent premium. On Monday, Marvel shares shot up 25 percent to $48.37.

“Marvel has forcefully exploited its most popular characters through motion pictures, video games and consumer products. But Disney sees an opportunity to plug Marvel into its vaunted global marketing and distribution system.

“’Marvel’s brand and its treasure trove of content will now benefit from our extraordinary reach,’ Robert A. Iger, Disney’s chief executive, said in an interview. ‘We paid a price that reflects the value they’ve created and the value we can create as one company. It’s a full price, but a fair price.’

“Certain Marvel characters can be immediately integrated into Disney’s theme parks in California, Paris and Hong Kong. (For now, Walt Disney World in Florida is off limits because of a pact Marvel has in place with Universal Studios there.) Disney’s cable channels, in particular Disney XD, will have new intellectual property to mine. And the potential in consumer products is huge, especially overseas.

“The brooding Marvel characters tend to be more popular with boys — an area where Disney could use help. While the likes of “Hannah Montana” and the blockbuster Princesses merchandising line have solidified Disney’s hold on little girls, franchises for boys have been harder to come by.

“The acquisition points to the film industry’s biggest issue at the moment: access to capital. Those who have it are finding opportunity; those who do not may be left behind.”

Read the rest of Disney Swoops Into Action, Buying Marvel for $4 Billion from The New York Times here.

 

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