Entertainment giant Walt Disney is to buy Marvel Entertainment in a shares and cash deal valued at $4bn (£2.5bn).
The deal means Disney will take over ownership of 5,000 Marvel characters, such as Spider-Man and the X-Men.
Marvel shareholders will get $30 per share in cash plus 0.745 Disney shares for every Marvel share owned.
The boards of Disney and Marvel have both approved the deal, which now needs the backing of Marvel shareholders and competition authorities.
Marvel shares were ahead $10.17, or 26%, to $48.82 shortly after the market opened. Disney shares fell 47 cents, or 1.8%, to $26.37