Disney is acquiring Pixar Animation Studios, which created the Toy Story franchise, Finding Nemo, and The Incredibles, for stock worth $7.4 billion. Pixar has over a billion dollars in cash, making the net value of the deal around $6.3 billion. The stock amounts to about 13% of Disney shares; Pixar CEO Steve Jobs, who's a 50.6% owner of Pixar, will become Disney's largest individual shareholder and take a seat on Disney's board.
Pixar president Ed Catmull will become the president of both Disney and Pixar animation studios and report to Disney CEO Bob Iger. Pixar Chief Creative Officer John Lasseter will be the creative chief of the combined animation studios, and will also play a key role at Walt Disney Imagineering, designing theme park attractions. He'll also report to Iger.
Although Disney and Dreamworks have both mounted animation efforts in recent years, neither has achieved the massive success that Pixar has.
The combination can only be good for Disney, which has been relatively unsuccessful at animation, once the core of the business, since it parted ways with Jeffrey Katzenberg, who produced the last big hits there.
Next up from Pixar is Cars, planned for a June 9th release (see 'Best in Shows -- 2006'). Tokyopop will produce a Cine-Manga based on the movie, for release around the same time as the movie's release.