The Walt Disney Company has agreed to acquire superheroes stable Marvel Entertainment and its portfolio of over 5,000 characters in a stock and cash transaction.
Based on the closing price of Disney stock on Friday, August 28, the transaction value is $50 per Marvel share or approximately $4 billion (£2.46b). Under the terms of the agreement, Marvel shareholders would receive a total of $30 per share in cash plus approximately 0.745 Disney shares for each Marvel share they own.
The boards of directors of Disney and Marvel have each approved the transaction, which is still subject to regulatory approval.
"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 Disney CEO Robert Iger.
Marvel CEO Ike Perlmutter, who will oversee Marvel properties and work with Disney to build and further integrate those properties, added of the deal: "Disney is the perfect home for Marvel’s fantastic library of characters given its proven ability to expand content creation and licensing businesses. This is an unparalleled opportunity for Marvel to build upon its vibrant brand and character properties by accessing Disney’s tremendous global organisation and infrastructure around the world."
Speaking in an investor conference call attended by Kotaku, Iger also mentioned Disney’s videogame strategy, suggesting that the company may continue to license Marvel properties to third parties once existing contracts with the likes of Activision, Sega, Gazillion and THQ expire.
"On the videogame front, [Marvel] have some smart licensing agreements with some of the best videogame manufacturers in the business," he said. "While we have been steadily moving in the direction of videogame integration, we don’t rule out the blend of licensing and self-produced and distributed videogames. As these licensing deals expire we have the luxury of considering what’s best for the company and the products."