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Tag Archives: Acquisition

January 18

February 18, 2011 – Disney Acquires Togetherville Social Network

On February 18, 2011, Disney completed their acquisition of the social network Togetherville. The network, aimed at kids aged 13 and younger, was created by Mandeep Dhillon and Rajveer Tut, and released in a public beta version on May 19, 2010. The intent of the site was to provide children the experience of Facebook, but within the confines of an age-appropriate environment that allows parents to moderate their children’s connections. With this acquisition, Dhillon became the Vice President of TogetherVille, as well as Vice President of Strategy at Disney Interactive. The Togetherville network was discontinued in March, 2012.

January 1

January 1, 1990 – Hollywood Records Begins Operations

On January 1, 1990, Disney’s record label Hollywood Records began operations. The label was created by then-CEO Michael Eisner, who wanted to expand Disney’s music operations into the more mainstream music scene rather than just soundtracks. The label had its first success when it was able to acquire the rock band Queen’s entre catalogue for $10 million. The groups currently under the label range from rock bands (Breaking Benjamin, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals), to pop artists (Bea Miller, Sofia Carson), to R&B singers (Jordan Fisher). Several artists have starred on Disney Channel in movies and shows, transitioning to a music career under the Hollywood Records label. The label also features soundtrack and compilation albums for the Marvel films in a joint production with Marvel Music.

December 21

December 21, 2012 – The Walt Disney Company Completes Acquisition of Lucasfilm

“We’re thrilled to welcome Lucasfilm to the Disney family.” – President and CEO Bob Iger

On December 21, 2012, the Walt Disney Company announced that they had completed the acquisition deal of Lucasfilm. In the terms of this agreement, Disney now owns certain Lucasfilm assets, including the Star Wars franchise, Lucasfilm Ltd. LLC, LucasArts, Industrial Light & Magic, and Skywalker Sound. This whole merger had a value of over $4 billion.

November 17

November 17, 1999 – Disney Stockholders Approve Whole Acquisition of Infoseek

On November 17, 1999, Disney stockholders approved the plans for The Walt Disney Company to acquire the remaining stock of Infoseek, making it a wholly-owned subsidiary. 43% of the outstanding common stock of the company had been purchased a year prior; this, combined with Disney’s acquisition of Starwave Corp., helped create the portal service GO Network, which featured search engines, email, and news. With Disney completely owning Infoseek, the company merged with Buena Vista Internet Group, and stocks for the GO.com portal began trading on the New York Stock Exchange the next day. The portal was eventually closed on March 1, 2001.

October 24

October 24, 2001 – Disney Acquires Fox Family Worldwide

“These assets are a perfect fit for our company. We paid approximately for a rare asset.” – Disney CEO Michael Eisner

On October 24, 2001, Disney completed the acquisition of Fox Family Worldwide, which they bought for $5.3 billion from News Corp. and Haim Saban. The announcement of the planned acquisition was presented by media outlets on July 23, 2001. The acquisition included several channels, such as Fox Family Channel and Fox Kids (rebranded as ABC Family and Jetix, respectfully). Upon the announcement of the acquisition, Disney began to shift content from ABC and other Disney broadcast channels to ABC Family, giving the channel enough programming to start off well.

August 29

August 29, 1989 – Disney Announces Agreement to Acquire Muppets


“I have enjoyed running my own company, but now I am really excited about joining forces with Michael Eisner and the Disney organization and finding out how much more we can accomplish together for our audiences all over the world.”

On August 29, 1989, the Walt Disney Company announced that they had started negotiations with Henson Associates Inc. to acquire the Muppets. Jim Henson, creator of the Muppets, was working with Disney at the time on the new Muppet*Vision 3D attraction when the deal was discussed; under this deal, Henson would become a consultant to Disney to help develop special media pieces, such as television specials and movies. The terms of the deal were exclusive only to the Muppets and did not include characters from the Sesame Street series. Unfortunately, this deal would fall through in December of 1990, after problems arose with estate tax of Henson’s estate after his untimely passing. The merger was reopened and finally followed through in 2004.

April 23

April 23, 1993 – Walker Ranch Officially Becomes Disney Wilderness Preserve

“Without [Carol Browner’s] vision, we would continue to have the kind of thoughtless development that has been consuming Florida.” – Dick Weinstein, The Nature Conservancy.

On April 23, 1993, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency held a special ceremony as the famed Walker Ranch became the new Disney Wilderness Preserve. Spearheaded by Carol Browner, who was then the secretary of the Florida Department of Environmental Regulation, Disney bought the property to compensation for the 12 miles of wetlands the company is to tear down for the purposes of expanding Walt Disney World; the plan had Disney hand the reins of the former ranch to the Nature Conservancy to turn it into a preservation site, with Disney handling all costs associated. Though the ranch had several instances of foresting and dredging on the property, it was still considered a key piece of the 45,000 acres that make the headway of the Kissimmee River, and was also home to two endangered species: the bald eagle and the wood stork.

February 17

February 17, 2004 – Disney Signs Agreement with Jim Henson Company for the Muppets and Bear in the Big Blue House

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“As such, the deal we announced today is the realization of my father’s dream, and ensures that the Muppet characters will live, flourish and continue to delight audiences everywhere, forever.” – Brian Henson

On February 17, 2004, the Walt Disney Company and the Jim Henson Company announced that an agreement had been reached where Disney would acquire the Muppets and Bear in the Big Blue House properties. This deal had gone back to the 1990s, when Jim Henson was working on a deal with Disney before his untimely death. The deal had gone south, and the Jim Henson Company was purchased by the German media company EM.TV in 2000. The Henson family bought the company back in 2003, and reopened negotiations with Disney soon after. The deal included all characters classified under the Muppet banner, including Kermit, Fozzie, and Miss Piggy, as well as all characters, copyrights, trademarks, and television library entities of Bear in the Big Blue House; the deal did not include Sesame Street entities, or Jim Henson’s Create Shop assets.

December 31

December 31, 2009 – Marvel Stockholders Approve Disney Acquisition Deal

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“We’re thrilled to welcome to the Disney family the talented team at Marvel.” – President and CEO of the Walt Disney Company Bob Iger

On December 31, 2009, a special meeting was held for the stockholders of Marvel Entertainment, Inc., where the planned merger with The Walt Disney Company was front and center for approval. With the approval of the shareholders, Marvel became a Disney-owned subsidiary, with Marvel shareholders receiving $30 a share along with a 0.7452 Disney share for each Marvel stock owned. The merger was completed the same day following the approval.

November 26

November 26, 2014 – Disney Announces Deal with Turner Classic Movies

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“Disney films and other programming have been seen a little bit on TCM, but not much. It will be exciting to dig into the vault and see classic Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, [and] ‘The Wonderful World of Disney.’”

On November 26, 2014, the Walt Disney Company formally announced an agreement with Turner Classic Movies (TCM), creating a deal that would benefit both media companies. TCM would help update and sponsor the Hollywood Studios attraction The Great Movie Ride, while Disney would present vintage shows and movies from the Disney Vault in a special programming block on the classic cable channel called “Treasures from the Disney Vault.” Disney and TCM have worked together in several situations prior to the deal, including a TCM Classic Cruise on the Disney Magic cruise ship, as well as a joint hosting of the screening of Mary Poppins at the El Capitan Theatre; however, this was TCM’s first foray into experiential marketing, particularly with their inclusion in The Great Movie Ride attraction.