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Marvel Approves Disney Buy

Yes vote confirms merger now valued at $4.3 billion

Marvel Entertainment shareholders voted Thursday to approve the company’s $4.3 billion acquisition by The Walt Disney Co.

The purchase, announced in early September, will make the 80-year-old comic brand a wholly owned subsidiary of Disney by the close of the business day.

Based on the closing price of Disney’s common stock on Dec. 30, Marvel estimates the value of the deal to be approximately $4.3 billion — an uptick over the $4 billion valuation that was made when the deal was first announced.

The merger is still subject to approval by the Securities Exchange Commission.

The deal gives Disney access to popular characters – over 500 exist in the Marvel library — and potentially more movies to carry through its distribution system, which has dialled back on its number of annual releases.

Marvel currently has an output deal with Paramount, which will include the release of the Jon Favreau-directed “Iron Man 2” in May. That deal – which also includes motion picture adaptations of “Thor,” “Captain America” and “The Avengers,” as well as another “Iron Man” movie — runs through 2012.