Marvel / Disney Merger OK'd By Shareholders, Deal To Complete Today

On August 31, Marvel and Disney shocked the entertainment world with an announcement that Disney would purchase Marvel in a deal valued around $4 billion in cash and stock. One of the gates any deal like that must pass through is shareholder review, and Marvel's stockholders have now approved the merger with Disney. Now said to be valued at about $4.3 billion, the deal will be based on the price of Disney's stock at the end of the day yesterday, and should be done by the close of the New York Stock Exchange today.

The official release, via Nikki Finke, goes like this:

New York, New York – December 31, 2009 — Marvel Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: MVL), a global character-based entertainment and licensing company founded in 1939, announced that at a special meeting held this morning, Marvel stockholders approved the adoption of the Agreement and Plan of Merger entered into by Marvel and The Walt Disney Company ("Disney"), which provides for a merger in which Marvel will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Disney. Marvel anticipates that the merger, which, based on the closing price of Disney's common stock on December 30, 2009, has an estimated value of approximately $4.3 billion, will be completed today after the close of the market.

There are still some hoops to go through — Securities and Exchange Commission stuff — but if things go according to plan, Marvel and Disney will be one company at the end of the day today.

On the same day the deal was first announced, CEO Bob Iger said (paraphrased by Peter) that "the company didn't plan on interfering much with any of the in-development Marvel movies, using the term "If it ain't broke..." All of the creative control will remain in the hands of the people who know the Marvel Universe best: the people at Marvel." There have been some big changes at Disney in the interim, but hopefully they won't change that fundamental approach to Marvel's output.