Walt Disney Co., whose recent hand-drawn animated films have flopped at the box office, will pay $7.4 billion in stock to buy Steven Jobs's Pixar computer-animation film studio. Jobs will join Disney's board.
Disney, the second-largest U.S. media company, will pay $59.78 a share for Pixar, the companies said today in a statement distributed by Business Wire. That's a 3.8 percent premium over Pixar's closing stock price of $57.57.
Gaining Pixar will transform Disney Chief Executive Officer Robert Iger's animation unit, whose recent films such as ``Treasure Planet'' failed to appeal to audiences as much as computer-animated features. The purchase brings Disney the creativity of Jobs, who sparked the boom in personal computers with the Macintosh and media gadgets with the iPod.
``This is a chance to shore up the animation unit,'' said Michael Cuggino at Pacific Asset Management in San Francisco, which owns about 100,000 Disney shares. ``Jobs might bring some new, fresh blood, some entrepreneurial flair to the board.''
Pixar shares, which have risen 31 percent in the last 12 months, fell 70 cents at 4 p.m. New York time in Nasdaq Stock Market composite trading. Disney shares rose 47 cents to $25.99. Disney shares have fallen 7 percent in the last 12 months.