LOS ANGELES ó The Walt Disney Co. said Monday it is acquiring Marvel Entertainment Inc. for $4 billion in cash and stock, bringing characters like Iron Man and Spider-Man into the family of Mickey Mouse and WALL-E.
Under the deal, Disney will acquire ownership of 5,000 Marvel characters. Many of them, including favorites such as the Fantastic Four and the X-Men, were co-created by the comic book legend Stan Lee.
Disney said Marvel shareholders will receive $30 per share in cash, plus 0.745 Disney shares for every Marvel share they own. That values each Marvel share at $50 based on Friday's closing stock prices.
Marvel shares jumped $10.09, or 26 percent, to $48.74 in trading before the market opened. Disney shares fell 70 cents, or 2.6 percent, to $26.14.
Disney said the boards of both companies have approved the transaction, but it will require an antitrust review and the approval of Marvel shareholders.
Disney CEO Robert Iger said the acquisition combines Marvel's "strong global brand and world-renowned library of characters" with Disney's "unparalleled global portfolio of entertainment properties" and ability to maximize value across multiple platforms and territories.