Online video streaming service Netflix, Inc. (NFLX) acquired its first company with the purchase of comic book publisher Millarworld. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Netflix said that it intends to bring "Millarworld's portfolio of critically and fan-acclaimed character franchises to life through films, series and kids' shows available exclusively to Netflix members globally," according to a company announcement. 

The move is an effort by Netflix to boost its intellectual property (IP) portfolio and reduce its dependence on licensing fees. In a recent shareholder letter, the company listed the benefits of original content, which range from lower costs to greater rights flexibility. (See also: Analyzing Netflix's Spending on Content.)

Millarworld, which is owned by well-known comic book author Mark Millar and his wife Lucy, is the publisher of several successful comic book titles such as "Kick Ass," "Kingsman" and "Wanted." Millar's characters are also said to be the inspiration behind recent box-office hits such as "Logan" and "The Avengers." Ted Sarandos, Netflix's chief content officer, likened Millar to a "modern day Stan Lee," creator of "Spider-Man," "Avengers" and "X-Men." Meanwhile, in a post on his site, Millar stated, "To say this is the best thing that ever happened in our professional lives would be an understatement."

From a business perspective, Millarworld is attractive to Netflix because of the profitable returns that its IP portfolio generates. Millar had earlier worked with Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc. (FOXA) to release "Kingsman: The Secret Service," a movie that generated revenue of $414.3 million worldwide with a budget of $81 million. Netflix already has a $300 million deal with The Walt Disney Company (DIS) for exclusive rights to films made using characters from the Marvel comics series. (See also: Netflix Stock Soars on Disney Exclusive Deal.) 

Netflix is on track on to spend more than $5 billion on original content globally this year. The company is financing its content production binge largely through debt. (See also: Is a Netflix Debt Bubble Coming?)

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