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Disney buys Pixar

Disney buys Pixar

Left to right: Pixar President, Ed Catmull. Steve Jobs. Disney CEO, Robert Iger. John Lasseter. Photo: AP

It was rumoured last week but now it's confirmed: Disney has bought Pixar for US$7.4 billion. The move means Pixar Chairman and CEO, Steve Jobs, will be appointed to the Board of Directors at Disney.

Jobs also stands to profit substantially from the deal, which involves no cash - each Pixar shareholder will receive 2.3 Disney shares for each Pixar share they hold. Jobs was the majority shareholder in Pixar, owning 50.6 percent of the company. At the time of writing, Disney shares are worth US$26 each.

The good news is that Pixar's creative lead, John Lasseter, will become Chief Creative Officer of the new, joint animation studios. Lasseter directed both Toy Story and Toy Story 2 as well as A Bug's Life, and served as Executive Producer on Monsters Inc, Finding Nemo and The Incredibles.

He will also advise on the design of new rides for the various Disney theme parks around the globe, which now includes Disneyland Hong Kong and a rumoured new park in Shanghai set for 2010.

The real question is: what magic can the mercurial Jobs perform at Disney now that he is on the board and holds a substantial stake in the company? How will his new duties affect things at Apple? Only time will tell.

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