Disney, Marvel and the Value of 'Hidden Assets'
Strategy & Leadership, Vol. 47, No. 3, pp. 34-39, 2019
Posted: 21 Jun 2019
Date Written: June 17, 2019
Purpose: This paper discusses the concept of hidden assets in the context of Disney’s 2009 acquisition of the Marvel Entertainment Group (Marvel), and its value realization activities post-acquisition.
Design/methodology/approach: The paper presents a hidden assets-based value realization analysis of the 2009 acquisition of Marvel by Disney. It draws on a previously published case study of that acquisition as well as further research conducted by the author.
Findings: The Disney-Marvel acquisition supports the view that hidden assets-based analysis can be a powerful M&A tool and an equally powerful value realization tool when managed strategically over time.
Practical and research implications: The Disney acquisition of Marvel is a dramatic example of how knowledge of hidden assets can be used to do a deal in a competitive marketplace and how the disciplined management of those assets over time can realize a “blue ocean” of value post-acquisition.
Originality and value: This is the first paper we are aware that evaluates the hidden assets of the Disney-Marvel acquisition. It follows another paper that evaluated the acquisition (Joseph Calandro, Jr., “Disney’s Marvel Acquisition: A Strategic Financial Analysis,” Strategy & Leadership, Vol. 38, No. 2 (2010), pp. 42-51), which followed a paper that evaluated Marvel’s 1996 bankruptcy filing (Joseph Calandro, Jr., “Distressed M&A and Corporate Strategy: Lessons from Marvel Entertainment Group's Bankruptcy,” Strategy & Leadership, Vol. 37, No. 4 (2009), pp. 23-32).
Keywords: M&A, Information Advantage, Hidden Assets, Value Realization
JEL Classification: G32, G34, L21, M10
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation