Disney to acquire Marvel for $4 billion in cash and stock – Update w/ video

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Disney has agreed to pay $4 billion in cash and stock deal for Marvel, which values the company’s shares at $50 a piece. That’s a 29% premium over Marvel’s $38.65-a-share price on Friday.

Some Highlight from the conference call can be read below…

Disney has agreed to pay $4 billion in cash and stock deal for Marvel, which values the company’s shares at $50 a piece. That’s a 29% premium over Marvel’s $38.65-a-share price on Friday.

Marvel has successfully turned its storied comic book franchises into block bluster Hollywood films. But are the money making powers of Spiderman and X-Mex tapped out? Can others like, Doctor Strange or Cable, a Westchester-N.Y.-born mutant with telephathic powers, keep the magic alive?

10:20: Robert Iger, Disney CEO: Disney’s marketing channels will help unlock Marvel’s “treasure trove” of characters.

10:25: Disney: We were willing to issue 58 million shares to Marvel shareholders. But we intend to repruchase as many shares in the next 12 months to help mute the dillutive impact.

10:30 Questions are about the begin.

10:32: Disney: Cost savings were not the big driving reason for the deal. What really drives is synergies over time. It will create enhanced growth rate for Disney over time.

10:33: Disney: Even with DVD sales slowing, movies with strong, brand name characters such as Marvel characters will hold up better than others. “It’s not bulletproof”

10:35: Iger: Marvel has done a good job of understanding its characters and storylines. What was attractive to us about this deal was that it was about acquiring writers who know these chraracters and storylines well.

10:36: Question from UBS: What about video games and international opportunities through Marvel?

10:39: Disney: We already work with Marvel on our animated channel Disney XD and we can expand that program and expand it internationally. It’s very popular with boys.

10:40 Lazard Capital Markets: Paramount Distribution Deal, Marvel spends $20 million. Will you exit that deal? (the analysts keep pressing on how Disney will get out of Marvel’s many film licensing deals such as the Paramount agreement)

10:41: Disney: Over time it would be more cost effective to get out of these licensing deals.

10:43: Analyst Question: Will Pixar and Marvel collaborate?

10:45: Disney: We won’t co-brand, but they will collaborate. When we put these two creative groups together. “Sparks will fly.”

10:46: Spidey meets a Bug’s Life?, Barclays asks.

10:48: Disney: We can broadly expose Marvel to big retaliers that they currently don’t have relationships with.

10:50 Morgan Stanley: When does Sony, Fox and Paramount film distribution deals with Marvel expire?

10:50: Disney: I don’t want to go in great detail. But Paramount ancipates five more pictures.

10:51: JP Morgan: Any competing bids for Marvel?

10:52: Disney: We’ve admired Marvel for many years and a few months ago, we reached out to Marvel. We believe in the creative team at marvel and we think they have a good pipeline and we don’t want to upset that apple cart.

10:55: S&P: How would you deal with perception of Disney staying away from deals that don’t involve the disney brand?

10:56: Iger: True. But Marvel brand character are akin to Disney brands. OUr goal is not to rebrand Marvel disney but to put a broader spotlight on Marvel brand.

10:58: S&P analysts also asks: why did Disney pay such a steep price? (Finally someone asks)

11:00: Disney CFO Tom Staggs: “This was not a deal that Marvel had to do or a deal that Disney had to do. We are acquring a premiums company and a premium assets and we had to pay a fair price. But having said that we still think we will create more value.” (in other words, Spidey and Hulk don’t come cheap)

11:01: RBC: But why do the deal now and why do this particular deal, given that Disney could potentially enhance the value of any company it acquires?

11:01: Iger: It’s a great fit and we thought the time was right.

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