31 Aug 2009

Walt Disney Company Buys Marvel Entertainment for Around $4 Billion

The Walt Disney Company announced on Monday, August 31, 2009, that it would buy Marvel Entertainment, aka Marvel Comics. The deal we’re told, is worth about 4 billion dollars. Marvel shareholders will get $30 in cash and about ¾ of a Disney share for each Marvel share they own.

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

"The transaction raises many more questions that need to be answered in the coming months and ... years," according to Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Michael Nathanson. "We are not sure why the company felt the need to do this deal," Nathanson wrote. It's unclear, Nathanson said, what Disney can "immediately do" to add value to the deal since many of Marvel's biggest properties are locked away with rival companies for several years, and a few ("Spider-Man") are in perpetuity. Nathanson is also wary about how this deal puts Disney right back into the DVD business, which Chief Executive Bob Iger has rightfully been bearish on for some time.