Disney to buy Pixar, put Apple CEO Jobs on board

The deal, valued at $7.4B, has been approved by the boards of both companies

The Walt Disney Co. has agreed to acquire Pixar, the animation studio headed by Apple Computer Inc. CEO Steve Jobs, in a long-anticipated $7.4 billion deal that will put Jobs on Disney's board of directors, the companies announced today.

Pixar, based in Emeryville, Calif., has parlayed its digital animation expertise and distribution partnerships with Disney into a string of blockbuster hits since 1995, including Toy Story, Monsters Inc., Finding Nemo and The Incredibles.

Jobs, a co-founder of Apple, also co-founded Pixar in 1986. He is chairman and CEO of the studio and owns approximately 50.6% of the outstanding shares of Pixar, according to a press release issued by Disney and Pixar. Pixar shareholders would receive 2.3 Disney shares for each Pixar share in the all-stock deal, the companies said, and Jobs would become the largest individual shareholder of Disney following the deal's close, according to news reports.

In 2005, Jobs was worth $3.3 billion, making him the 67th richest person in the U.S., according to the Forbes 400 list.

The boards of both companies have approved the acquisition, but it still needs shareholder and regulatory approval. The companies said they expect the acquisition to close this summer.

Copyright © 2006 IDG Communications, Inc.

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