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Disney’s dealmaker who bought Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm shares his top negotiation tip

Kevin Mayer speaks at the Disney+ showcase presentation at the D23 expo. Image: Getty

Kevin Mayer has a big job.

As the chairman of direct-to-consumer and international, he’s in charge of rolling out Disney’s new streaming platform, Disney+, and oversees Disney’s international businesses.

But before he became chairman, Mayer was chief strategy officer, and in charge of acquisitions at a time when Disney acquired massive studios Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm, and 21st Century Fox’s studio and entertainment assets.

While it cost Disney US$4 billion to buy Marvel in 2009, it’s now made the House of Mouse more than $18 billion at the global box office.

And Disney paid US$4.05 billion for Lucasfilm - but recouped that money within six years, making US$4.8 billion since 2015 - with Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker set to come out later this year.

Mayer oversaw the acquisition of Pixar for US$7.4 billion in 2006. Since Pixar was born in 1995, it’s made more than US$14 billion at the US box office with around $11 billion coming from after it became part of Disney.

They’re massive deals, and such gargantuan lines on a resume they could make Mayer the next CEO of Disney.

Speaking to Yahoo Finance, Mayer shared his best negotiation tip.

“Try to find what the other party wants that doesn't cost too much,” he said.

“Have empathy and understand the other side but try to give them something that doesn't cost you too much. That's a great tip.”

Over the Northern Hemisphere’s summer blockbuster season this year, Disney’s films made 42 per cent of the US box office - up from 33 per cent last year.

The Yahoo Finance’s All Markets Summit will take place on the 26th September 2019 at the Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney. Check out the full line-up of speakers and agenda here.

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