Disney buys ‘Star Wars’ maker Lucasfilm for $4 billion

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA (BNO NEWS) -- The Walt Disney Company has acquired Lucasfilm, the firm behind the popular 'Star Wars' franchise, in a deal worth more than $4 billion, both companies announced on late Tuesday. A new Star Wars film to be released in 2015 is part of the deal.

Disney said it agreed to acquire Lucasfilm in a stock and cash transaction with owner George Lucas, who launched the company in 1971 and released the first Star Wars film in 1977. Based on the closing price of Disney stock on Friday, the transaction value is approximately $4.05 billion. Half of the money will be paid in cash while the rest will be paid in approximately 40 million shares at closing.

"For the past 35 years, one of my greatest pleasures has been to see Star Wars passed from one generation to the next," Lucas said. "It's now time for me to pass Star Wars on to a new generation of filmmakers. "I've always believed that Star Wars could live beyond me, and I thought it was important to set up the transition during my lifetime."

Under the deal, Disney will acquire ownership of Lucasfilm, including its massively popular and "evergreen" Star Wars franchise and its operating businesses in live action film production, consumer products, animation, visual effects, and audio post production. Current Lucasfilm co-chairman Kathleen Kennedy will be promoted to president.

"This transaction combines a world-class portfolio of content including Star Wars, one of the greatest family entertainment franchises of all time, with Disney's unique and unparalleled creativity across multiple platforms, businesses, and markets to generate sustained growth and drive significant long-term value," said Disney CEO Robert Iger.

Kennedy will also serve as the brand manager for Star Wars, working directly with Disney's global lines of business to build, further integrate, and maximize the value of the global franchise. She will serve as executive producer on new Star Wars feature films, with George Lucas serving as creative consultant.

Star Wars Episode 7 is targeted for release in 2015, with more feature films expected to continue the Star Wars saga in the future.

(Copyright 2012 by BNO News B.V. All rights reserved. Info: sales@bnonews.com.)

What Next?

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Submit Comment