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Disney now owns the Marvel universe

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From the AP out of New York:

Walt Disney Co. completed its $4.24-billion acquisition of Marvel Entertainment Inc. on Thursday, bringing Spider-Man, Iron Man and 5,000 other characters under the same roof as Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck. Marvel shareholders approved the acquisition Thursday morning as expected.

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Marvel Chief Executive Isaac ‘Ike’ Perlmutter, who owned 37% of Marvel stock, supported it. He will oversee the Marvel business and report to Disney CEO Robert Iger. Iger said the deal can help Disney grow revenue and profit, saying in a statement, ‘The creative and business potential of this combination is substantial.’

Marvel shareholders received $30 per share in cash, plus 0.7452 of a Disney share for every Marvel share they owned. Disney shares closed Thursday at $32.25.

That valued Marvel shares at $54.03 each, and put the purchase price at $4.24 billion. The deal is Disney’s largest since it bought Pixar Animation Studios Inc., the maker of ‘Up’ and ‘Cars,’ for $7.4 billion in stock in 2006.

Separately, Pow Entertainment Inc., a company led by Spider-Man co-creator Stan Lee, said it expanded a three-year relationship with Disney by giving Disney greater rights to its creative output and exclusive consulting services.

Disney, based in Burbank, will take a 10% stake in Pow for $2.5 million, it said. Walt Disney Studios’ president of worldwide distribution, Bob Chapek, said it made sense to extend the relationship with the company partly because of Lee’s ‘knowledge and familiarity of the Marvel Universe.’

-- Associated Press

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Images: The heroes and villains of Marvel (credit: Marvel Comics) and Mickey Mouse in the 1930s (Walt Disney Co.).


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