Spider Man, Captain America, Iron Man, the Fantastic Four, X-Men - any of these names sound familiar? Well, as some of the world's most famous superheros, they should. But what you may not know is that they are just a handful of Marvel's thousands of characters that are expected to join Mickey -and friends!-in becoming part of the Disney family. On Augest 31, The Walt Disney Company announced an agreement to acquire Marvel Entertainment, Inc.- one of the worlds most prominent character-based entertainment companies with a library of more than 5,000 characters that have been featured in comics, television and films for more than 70 years- for approximately $4 billion.
Building on Disney's strategy of delivering quality branded content to people around the world, the transaction which is scheduled to be completed by year's end, will combine Marvel's strong globel presence built on their world-renowned characters with Disney's creative skills, unparalleled portfolio of entertainment properties and business structure.
Under the deal, Disney will acquire ownership of Marvel and all its characters. Disney President and CEO Bob Iger saided in a letter to employees and Cast Members, "Marvels business meshes perfectly with ours and what we've all been doing to maximize the value of Disney's creative properties across our businesses, media platforms and geographical markets." "Not only will we combine the great characters and storylines of Marvel with those of Disney, but we will also bring together two groups of dedicated and very talented people,"Bob says. "Disney's success has been built on the great storytelling skills, the technical artistry and the creative vision of its Cast Members and employees. At Marvel,[Chief Executive Officer] Ike Perlmutter and his team have created real value by combining similar creative skills with strong strategy and a disciplined and smart way of doing business. They've done a great job in extending and increasing the popularity of such Marvel characters as Iron Man, X-Men and Spider Man."
As part of the agreement, Mr. Perlmutter will continue to oversee Marvel, and will work directly with Disney's global lines of business to build and futher integrate Marvel's properties. "Disney is the perfect home for Marvel's fantastic characters given its proven ability to expand content creation and licensing businesses," Mr. Perlmutter says. "This is an unparalleled opportunity for Marvel to build upon its vibrant brand and character prroperties by accessing Disney's tremendous global organization and infrastructure."
Much like the acquisition of Pixar three years ago, which as Bob points out "exemplified our focus on creating high quality technologically innovative entertainment that appeals to audiences all over the world," the Marvel acquisition will offer similar opportunities to advance that strategy. "We look forward to welcoming the Marvel team to the Disney family and to the exciting potential this combination offers."