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Disney to Purchase Marvel Entertainment for $4 Billion

marvel-083109Upon approval by shareholders at Marvel, Walt Disney Company is purchasing Marvel Entertainment (including Marvel Studios) for $4 billion in cash and stocks. Under the terms of the deal Disney would acquire ownership of 5,000 Marvel characters:

“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.”

“We believe that adding Marvel to Disney’s unique portfolio of brands provides significant opportunities for long-term growth and value creation,” Robert A. Iger, Disney’s chief executive, said in a statement announcing the deal.

Disney will honor previous deals Marvel made for distribution of their properties — including Spider-Man 4 through Sony Pictures, Iron Man 2 through Paramount Pictures and X-Men Origins: Magneto and X-Men Origins: Wolverine 2 through 20th Century Fox.  However the studio said that they will re-examine those contracts upon expiration.

Sources: USA Today and New York Times