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UPDATE: Disney Buys Marvel

Posted by Luke Brown On August - 31 - 2009

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According to MarketWatch.com, Walt Disney Co. has reached a deal with Marvel Entertainment to buy the company for $4 billion. The question arises, what does this mean for the future of our favorite heroes?

Likely, not much. For all intents and purposes, Marvel Entertainment will still be operate on its own, only now with the backing of Walt Disney Co. Don’t think of this as a bad thing, like when Marvel went bankrupt. This is more akin to a collaborative effort than it is a “Now we own you, and we’ll do what we want” situation. While little else is known about the deal at this time, there will be an investor conference call later this morning that may shed more light on the buyout.

While I’m hoping this doesn’t affect Marvel too much, you really have to wonder what will happen with the BOOM! Studios licenses with Disney. It was a pretty big deal when BOOM! managed to snag the Disney deal, and now with this Marvel acquisition looming on the horizon, it appears as if their days of publishing those comics may be coming to an end as soon as their current agreement is up. We’ll be monitoring the situation, so be sure to check back for more on this deal as it develops.

UPDATE: The investor’s conference call didn’t shed too much light on the deal, but the people at Disney had quite a bit to say about how Marvel will stay its own brand, with Disney hoping to “shine a bright spotlight on Marvel.” The other big question on everyone’s mind was about film and distribution rights. Disney seemed confident in Marvel Studio’s ability to produce the films on their own. “We’ve been impressed with what they’ve done so far, and with what they’ve got in mind for the future. The old saying goes, ‘If it ain’t broke…’” Most of the rest of the call dealt with financial aspects, and projections of fiscal year incomes. When there’s more to say, I’m sure Marvel will let us know.

You can read the full press release below.

BURBANK, Calif. & NEW YORK, Aug 31, 2009 (BUSINESS WIRE) — –Acquisition highlights Disney’s strategic focus on quality branded content, technological innovation and international expansion to build long-term shareholder value

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.

“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.

The Boards of Directors of Disney and Marvel have each approved the transaction, which is subject to clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act, certain non-United States merger control regulations, effectiveness of a registration statement with respect to Disney shares issued in the transaction and other customary closing conditions. The agreement will require the approval of Marvel shareholders. Marvel was advised on the transaction by BofA Merrill Lynch.



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