Walt Disney announced this morning that they’re in the process of buying Marvel Entertainment for $4 billion. Once the deal goes through, Disney will take over ownership of 5,000 Marvel characters, including Spider-Man, Captain America, The Hulk and the X-Men. Both Disney and Marvel have approved the deal, but before the deal is finalized, they need the backing of Marvel shareholders and competition authorities. Under the terms of the agreement, Marvel shareholders would receive a total of $30 per share in cash plus approximately 0.745 Disney shares for each Marvel share they own. “We believe that adding Marvel to Disney’s unique portfolio of brands provides significant opportunities for long-term growth and value creation,” Disney president and chief executive Robert Iger said in a statement. “We are pleased to bring this talent and these great assets to Disney.” Marvel chief executive Ike Perlmutter (who is also the company’s largest shareholder) said, “Disney is the perfect home for Marvel’s fantastic library of characters given its proven ability to expand content creation and licensing businesses. This is an unparalleled opportunity for Marvel to build upon its vibrant brand and character properties by accessing Disney’s tremendous global organization and infrastructure around the world.” Marvel’s deals with various film companies will continue to be honored, however. For instance, 20th Century Fox will continue with the X-Men franchise while Sony Pictures Entertainment (aka Columbia Pictures) will keep Spider-Man.