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article imageWalt Disney Buys Pixar for $7.4 Billion, Making Steve Jobs Largest Single Shareholder of Disney

By Digital Journal Staff     Jan 25, 2006 in Business
Los Angeles (dpa) - Entertainment giant The Walt Disney Co. said Tuesday it has agreed to buy animated movie hit-maker Pixar Animation Studios for 7.4 billion dollars.
The deal, which had been expected since details leaked out last week, is seen as a giving Disney the opportunity to reclaim its traditional role as the world's leading producer of animated movies.
It also co-opts on to the Disney board Pixar founder Steve Jobs, who as CEO of Apple Computers pioneered the introduction of the iPod and is regarded as the most influential executive in the digital media world.
The all-stock transaction, expected to be completed by this summer, will see 2.3 Disney shares issued for each Pixar share.
Pixar has supplied Disney with some of its biggest hits during a dozen-year distribution partnership that has yielded computer animated movies such as Toy Story, Finding Nemo and The Incredibles. But with the arrangement drawing to a close Pixar had threatened to take its movies elsewhere due to tensions with ousted Disney CEO Michael Eisner.
Such a move would have been a potentially disastrous change for Disney, whose own animated movies failed to excite audiences as the genre moved to computer-generated images. Chief executive Robert Iger made a pact with Pixar his top priority when he took over late last year.
"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," Iger said.
"The addition of Pixar significantly enhances Disney animation, which is a critical creative engine for driving growth across our businesses."
The deal gives Disney control over a stable of sequels and popular cartoon characters that it could leverage over its vast media network, which includes the ABC broadcast network. Disney said it will also use Pixar's characters and creative team to come up with new attractions for its theme parks.
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