Walt Disney to Acquire Marvel Entertainment for $4B

Walt Disney Co. (NYSE:DIS) said Monday it is acquiring comic book titan Marvel Entertainment (NYSE:MVL) for $4 billion in a stock and cash transaction.

Under the terms of the agreement Disney will acquire ownership of 5,000 Marvel characters, and based on the closing price of Disney on Aug. 28, 2009, Marvel shareholders would receive a total of $30 per share in cash plus approximately 0.745 Disney shares for each Marvel share they own.  Based on the closing price of Disney stock on Friday, Aug. 28, the transaction value is $50 per Marvel share.

In a statement, Disney Chief Executive Bob Iger said “adding Marvel to Disney’s unique portfolio of brands provides significant opportunities for long-term growth and value creation.”

MVL shares soared more than 25% in pre-market trade after Disney announced it will acquire the company and its library of characters which includes Spider-Man, Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Captain America, Fantastic Four and the X-Men.

The Boards of Directors of Disney and Marvel have each approved the transaction. The agreement will require the approval of Marvel shareholders.

Ike Perlmutter, Marvel’s CEO, would continue to oversee the Marvel properties, and work directly with Disney executives to further integrate them into Disney’s businesses.

Marvel was advised on the transaction by BofA Merrill Lynch (NYSE:BAC).

MVL shares are currently up $10.45, or 27.04%, to $49.10 rtq (real time quote) in New York Stock Exchange trading.

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