We've had over a week to let the news of Disney buying Marvel sink in. It turns out the deal isn't 100% finalized quite yet.
Let's recap what we do know. Disney has stated that Marvel's current movie deals will stay in place. The idea of animated movies is one that could be explored further. We could be seeing more Marvel characters on television. Disney XD is already airing several past animated series and Sony even gave up television rights to Spider-Man. More Marvel products will appear in Disney's retail stores. Disney Interactive Studios will be looking over video game licenses as they come up for renewal. The Marvel Super Hero Island at Universal in Flordia still has an exclusive lock on the X-Men, Spider-Man, Hulk and Captain America (along with "related characters"). That means they won't be popping in at Disneyland or Disneyworld for now but other Marvel characters are fair game. Disney parks outside of the U.S. may be under different regulations.
On Monday it was reported that there is a $140 million termination fee should the deal not close "under certain circumstances." While it seems as though the sale is going smoothly, it turns out that there maybe a couple of obstacles in the way.
It turns out that there are already two separate lawsuits coming from Marvel shareholders. Bloomberg.com reported the first, which was filed on September 1. The lawsuit states that Marvel directors did not conduct an appropriate sale process. Shareholder Christine Vlatos said:
The sale would give Marvel investors $30 plus a 0.745 share of Disney stock for each Marvel share they hold.
The proposed transaction does not appear to adequately value Marvel’s shares or serve the best interests of the company’s public shareholders. Disney, with the board’s complicity, appears to have capitalized on non-public information about Marvel in offering to acquire the company.
The second lawsuit is a class action lawsuit on behalf of 'certain current investors' in Marvel Entertainment, Inc. The claim is there are "
alleged breaches of fiduciary duty and other violations of state law in connection with an alleged unfair takeover."
I guess it will be a matter of how strong are Disney's lawyers. Will these lawsuits put a monkey wrench into their purchase? If they have $4 billion to spend on Marvel, you would think they have some heavy duty lawyers at their disposal. Do those filing the lawsuits have a strong ground to stand on or are they grasping at straws? More importantly, will I see any Marvel products at Disneyland this December when I make my yearly trip down there?
It should be interesting to see how this plays out. The second lawsuit invites other Marvel shareholders to join in on the lawsuit. When will the purchase of Marvel be fully complete? Has your opinion over this deal changed? Do you still think this is a good or bad move for Marvel?