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Disney Board approves $7B Pixar offer

The Walt Disney Company is planning to announce as early as Tuesday the acquisition of Pixar Animation Studios in a stock transaction valued at about $7 billion, people briefed on the negotiations told the New York Times on Monday.

According to the report, Disney's board voted to give chief executive, Robert A. Iger, the authority to offer Apple and Pixar chief, Steven Jobs, about $59 a share for the company, these people said. The price would be at a slight premium over Monday's closing of $58.27 a share, which gave Pixar a market value of about $6.93 billion.

"Disney's negotiators were then expected to approach their counterparts at Pixar to reach a price, and Pixar's board could vote on the deal soon after that," said the Times. However, all of the people briefed on the negotiations cautioned that the deal could fall apart at any time. "This is tricky," one said. "All of the things have to be just right."

If the deal goes through, Pixar's chief creative officer and a former animator at Disney, John Lasseter, is expected to oversee the animation unit that would become part of Disney's filmed animation division. Jobs, meanwhile, would be given a seat on Disney's board.

It's also possible the deal would make Jobs the largest share holder of Disney stock.