Spiderman figure. (Photo: Reuters)

Walt Disney Co. announced on Monday it will acquire Marvel Entertainment Inc. and its portfolio of more than 5,000 characters including Spider-Man, Iron Man, Fantastic Four and the X-Men. 

The transaction is one of the largest acquisitions in the history of Disney. It is worth about $4 billion, Disney said in a press release today. 

The deal is likely to give Disney a significant boost of young male audiences while Marvel will benefit from Disney's ability to expand content creation and licensing businesses, the company's CEO Ike Perlmutter said in a statement today.

Our goal is not to rebrand Marvel disney but to put a broader spotlight on Marvel brand, Perlmutter said in a conference call Monday morning. 

Under the agreement, Marvel shareholders will receive $30 per share in cash plus 0.745 Disney share for each Marvel share.

The Boards of Directors of Disney and Marvel have each approved the transaction but antitrust approval is still required.