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Pixar accepts $7.4B offer from Disney

Jan. 25, 2006 at 7:22 AM

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 25 (UPI) -- Pixar Animation Studies has accepted Walt Disney Co.'s all-stock buyout worth $7.4 billion.

The acquisition, approved by Pixar's board late Tuesday, means Pixar head Steve Jobs, who owns 50.6 percent of the world's dominant animation studio, will become Disney's top shareholder with a 6.5-percent stake, CNN said Wednesday.

It also means Disney, which created the genre of blockbuster animation hits but is no longer particularly successful at such ventures, will own the makers of such hits as the "Toy Story" films, "Finding Nemo" and "The Incredibles."

Disney will issue 2.3 shares for each Pixar share, which based on Tuesday's closing price is a 4-percent premium.

The deal marks a key success for Disney's new chief executive, Bob Iger, who was determined to repair the relationship with Jobs that were ruptured when his predecessor, Michael Eisner, ran Disney.

John Lasseter, the highly respected creative director at Pixar who had previously worked for Disney, will become chief creative officer for the company's combined animated studios and will also help oversee the design for new attractions at Disney theme parks.

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