Disney buys Pixar for $7.4 billion

MUMBAI: In a move that can only strengthen Disney's hold on the animation sphere the media conglomerate has announced that it will acquire Pixar for $7.4 billion.

As part of the deal Disney's own animation studio will be merged with Pixar. In the past Pixar and Disney made hits like A Bug's Life, Toy Story and Finding Nemo. However there had been disagreements betwen former Disney chief Michael Eisner and Pixar CEO Steve Jobs. That had left the distribution of Pixar's future films after the release Cars in doubt. However Robert Iger who took over from Eisner had been making serious efforts at mending the fences.

Pixar president Ed Catmull will serve as president of the new Pixar and Disney animation studios. Pixar's creative lead, John Lasseter will be chief creative officer of the animation studios, and will also be an adviser in the design of new attractions for Disney theme parks around the world. Lasseter will report directly to Iger. Jobs becomes Disney's largest shareholder in the company with a seven per cent stake worth a reported $ 3.5 billion.

Iger says, "With this transaction, we welcome and embrace Pixar's unique culture, which for two decades has fostered some of the most innovative and successful films in history".

Jobs says, "Disney and Pixar can now collaborate without the barriers that come from two different companies with two different sets of shareholders. Now, everyone can focus on what is most important, creating innovative stories, characters and films that delight millions of people around the world." 

Jobs and Iger spent a lot of time discussing how to preserve Pixar's free-wheeling creative culture, which both described as the key to its unbroken box office success.

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