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Disney to buy Marvel Entertainment

August 31, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
The Walt Disney Company announced Monday that it has agreed to buy Marvel Entertainment in a deal worth about $4 billion. The deal gives Disney access to a library of more than 5,000 popular characters, eventually bringing such familiar faces as Iron Man and Spiderman into the family of Mickey Mouse and Buzz Lightyear.

Disney similarly bought Pixar a few years ago, and the company's chief executive sees parallels to this deal, in which Disney gets not only content and characters, but a strong group of talented people.

"Marvel is a really interesting company because of its treasure trove of 5,000 characters and great stories have universal appeal to different genders, to different ages, and to people all over the world, and it fits beautifully with Disney," says Disney CEO Bob Iger.

"We have similar appeal, although a lot of Disney appeals more to girls than to boys, and Marvel is probably a little bit more to boys than to girls, so it's a great fit," he adds.

Although Marvel shareholders still need to approve the deal, the news hit Wall Street immediately, bringing Marvel Entertainment stock up to the highest it has been in five years.

The Walt Disney Company is the parent company of ABC7.

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