Disney completes Pixar acquisition; Steve Jobs now Disney’s single largest shareholder

Advancing its strategy of developing outstanding creative content, Robert A. Iger, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company announced today that Disney has completed its acquisition of renowned computer animation leader Pixar. In the all-stock transaction, 2.3 Disney shares will be issued for each Pixar share. The deal, valued at $7.4 billion, was announced in January.

The deal makes Steve Jobs — chief executive of Pixar and also of Apple Computer Inc. — Disney’s single largest shareholder, with a 7 percent stake in the company.

Dr. Ed Catmull, previously Pixar President, 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, John Lasseter, previously Pixar Executive Vice President, will be Chief Creative Officer 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. Steve Jobs, previously Pixar Chairman and CEO, has joined Disney’s Board of Directors as a non-independent member. With the addition of Jobs, 11 of Disney’s 14 Directors are independent.

“For the last 15 years, Disney and Pixar have shared one of the most successful partnerships in entertainment history,” Iger said in the press release. “From ‘Toy Story’ through ‘The Incredibles,’ the success of these animated films was due to the creativity, innovation and immense talent of the phenomenal Pixar team, led by Steve, Ed and John. We also fully recognize that Pixar’s extraordinary record of achievement is in large measure due to its vibrant creative culture, which is something we respect and admire and are committed to supporting and fostering in every way possible. As we begin the next chapter, all of us at Disney are pleased to welcome the incredibly talented Pixar team to our Company to continue to create quality entertainment for audiences to enjoy around the world.”

Shares of Walt Disney climbed 69 cents, or 2.4 percent, to close at $29.09 on the New York Stock Exchange. In after-hours trading, Walt Disney shares climbed 8 cents to $29.17.

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42 Comments

  1. An old fable: A wise man walked through the woods. He came across a farm. The farmer said, “Look at my horse. Isn’t it grand?” The wise man said, “Who’s to say what is good or bad?” The wise man continued walking. The wise man came across the farm again the next day. The man said, “My horse ran away. Isn’t that terrible?” The wise man said, “Who’s to say what is good or bad?” The wise man returned the next day. The farmer said, “The horse returned with lots of wild horses. Isn’t that great.” “Who’s to say what is good or bad?” said the wise man. Upon the his return to the farm, the farmer told the wise man, “My son broke his arm taming those wild horses. Isn’t that horrible?” “Who’s to say?” The next day, the wise man returned once more to the farm. The farmer explained, “The military came by looking for recruits. They passed up son because he had a broken arm. Everything was a good thing.” “Bingo,” the wise man said.

  2. MacMan: I hadn’t heard that one in a long time. I luv it — thanks.

    Dee Nile: MacMan’s not trying to be an author — as he said, it’s “An old fable.” And with some great wisdom to it — imho.
    Perhaps it was just a little too deep for rasterblaster.

  3. Doing some quick Cinco de Mayo cocktail napkin math, I calculated that Steve Jobs’ 7 percent share of Disney stock is worth a paltry $3.93 Billion, based on today’s closing price of the stock.

    That ain’t peanuts.

    Considering that he bought Pixar from George Lucas at a relative fire sale price, and helped messrs Catmull, Lassiter et al do what they do best, I would say that it’s been a very shrewd move by the Apple co-founder. If you’re a Disney stockholder, today could be the start of a great future for the company.

    And if that means that Steve can continue to be paid $1 by Apple (huge option grants and corporate Gulfstream jets notwithstanding), all the better. We read a daily cavalcade of anti-Apple noise by know-nothing pundits on the pages of this site. Truth be told, history will someday be kind to Steve Jobs, and remember him for being one of the best business minds of the past 50 years.

    Kudos, Steve.

  4. Some people just don’t understand fables. That’s fine. In Buddhism there are caterpillars and there are butterflies. For those who don’t understand, there are some people saying the sale is good. Some say the sale is bad. Who is to say what the final out come is?

    Disney put out poor animated films after Lion King and ruined it’s name in animation. Pixar carried Disney’s Nine Old Men torch and followed the old path. Those films are considered great animation. Now, Pixar is returning the Nine Old Men torch to Disney. Disney animation can return to its former glory under Pixar leadership. So, was Disney’s “poor” animated films a good thing or a bad thing?

    The Pixar sale does not happen if Disney had successful animation films. Disney fans like John Lassetter and Andrew Stanton and Pete Doctor and Brad Bird and many other fans at Pixar would be shut out and turned away by Disney.

    There are those who worry that Disney will absorb Pixar causing Pixar to lose its identity and way of life. That’s why people worry about the Pixar sale.

    P.S. If you don’t know who the Nine Old Men are, then you don’t know animation. Look them up.

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