Confirming the rumors that have recently been circulating over a Disney/Pixar merger, The Walt Disney Company has confirmed having signed a $7.4 billion agreement to acquire the computer animation company.
With an impressive 20 Academy Awards under its belt, Pixar’s creative team and global box office success have made it a leader in family entertainment in recent years. The studio is responsible for box office hits such as Toy Story – the first fully computer-animated feature film, Monsters Inc and Finding Nemo, and has also designed logos for IBM and Paramount, among other things.
Not unexpectedly, the merger, which is expected to be completed by summer 2006, secures a place for Pixar’s chief executive and head of Apple, Steve Jobs, on Disney’s board of directors, making him its largest individual shareholder.
Disney chief executive Robert Iger said, The addition of Pixar significantly enhances Disney animation, which is a critical creative engine for driving growth across our businesses.
Far from being shy of new technology, Disney said it would look to capitalize on Pixar-created characters and franchises on high-growth digital platforms such as video games, broadband and wireless, as well as traditional media outlets, including theme parks, consumer products and live stage plays.