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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