Robert A. Iger, president and CEO of The Walt Disney Company announced that Disney has agreed to acquire computer animation company Pixar in an all-stock transaction, expected to be completed by this summer. Under terms of the agreement, 2.3 Disney shares will be issued for each Pixar share. Based on Pixar’s fully diluted shares outstanding, the transaction value is $7.4 billion ($6.3 billion net of Pixar’s cash of just more than $1 billion).
This acquisition combines Pixar’s creative and technological resources with Disney’s portfolio of family entertainment, characters, theme parks and other franchises.
“With this transaction, we welcome and embrace Pixar’s unique culture, which for two decades has fostered some of the most innovative and successful films in history. The talented Pixar team has delivered outstanding animation coupled with compelling stories and enduring characters that have captivated audiences of all ages worldwide and redefined the genre by setting a new standard of excellence,” Iger says. “The addition of Pixar significantly enhances Disney animation, which is a critical creative engine for driving growth across our businesses. This investment significantly advances our strategic priorities, which include—first and foremost—delivering high-quality, compelling creative content to consumers, the application of new technology and global expansion to drive long-term shareholder value.”
Pixar president Ed Catmull will serve as president of the new Pixar and Disney animation studios, reporting to Iger and Dick Cook, chairman of The Walt Disney Studios. In addition, Pixar executive VP John Lasseter will be CCO of the animation studios, as well as principal creative advisor at Walt Disney Imagineering, where he will provide his expertise in the design of new attractions for Disney theme parks around the world, reporting directly to Iger. Pixar chairman and CEO Steve Jobs will be appointed to Disney’s Board of Directors as a non-independent member. With the addition of Jobs, 11 of Disney’s 14 directors will be independent. Both Disney and Pixar animation units will retain their current operations and locations.
“For many of us at Pixar, it was the magic of Disney that influenced us to pursue our dreams of becoming animators, artists, storytellers and filmmakers,” comments Lasseter. “For 20 years, we have created our films in the manner inspired by Walt Disney and the great Disney animators—great stories and characters in an environment made richer by technical advances. It is exciting to continue in this tradition with Disney, the studio that started it all.”
Stay tuned as updates are announced.