Mickey Mouse hooks Spider-Man for $4 bn

MUMBAI: In one of those rare acquisitions at the time of global economic woes, Walt Disney has announced it is buying the comic publishing giant Marvel Entertainment in a $4 billion deal that will add characters like Spider-man, Iron Man and the X Men into the Mickey Mouse family.

Marvel‘s characters have been turned into several blockbuster movies in the last few years. Disney hopes to combine these strong global brand characters with its "creative skills, global entertainment properties, and a business structure that maximises the value of creative properties across multiple platforms and territories."Disney will have access to 5,000 Marvel characters, several of whom were co-created by the comic book legend Stan Lee, which will help it to extend its appeal to young men who appreciate Marvel‘s superheroes. Disney‘s franchises like ‘Hannah Montana‘ and the Jonas Brothers have won young women audiences.

"We believe that adding Marvel to Disney`s unique portfolio of brands provides significant opportunities for long-term growth and value creation," said Disney president Robert Iger.

As per the deal, Marvel shareholders will receive $30 per share in cash, plus 0.745 Disney shares for every Marvel share they own. The transaction will be subject to approval by Marvel‘s shareholders.

Commenting on the deal Marvel CEO Ike Perlmutter said, "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."

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