Disney Purchasing Lucasfilm Ltd. For $4.05 Billion

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Lucasfilm

Lucasfilm

The Walt Disney Company has agreed to acquire Lucasfilm Ltd. in a stock and cash transaction valued at $4.05 billion, the firms announced Tuesday.

Lucasfilm is 100% owned by its chairman and founder, George Lucas.

Lucasfilm has been involved as a producer of the animated series The Clone Wars and Droids: The Adventures of R2-D2 and C3P0, as well as the animated movies Twice Upon A Time (1983) and Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008). The firm also supported Williams Street’s Robot Chicken: Star Wars specials.

Characters from Star Wars led to the creation of the 1985 Nelvana Limited series Ewoks.

Lucasfilm co-produced the 1992 DiC Entertainment special Defenders Of Dynatron City, not to mention the 1984 Pixar short The Adventures of Andre and Wally B.

Under the terms of the agreement and based on last Friday’s closing price of Disney stock, Disney will pay approximately half of the consideration in cash and issuing about 40 million shares at closing. The final consideration will be subject to customary post-closing balance sheet adjustments.

Under the deal, Disney will acquire ownership of Lucasfilm, including its Star Wars franchise and its operating businesses in animation, live-action film production, consumer products, visual effects and audio post-production. Disney will also acquire firm’s substantial portfolio of cutting-edge entertainment technologies. Lucasfilm, headquartered in San Francisco, operates under the names Lucasfilm Ltd., LucasArts, Industrial Light & Magic and Skywalker Sound, and the present intent is for Lucasfilm employees to remain in their current locations.

“Lucasfilm reflects the extraordinary passion, vision and storytelling of its founder, George Lucas,” said Walt Disney Company chairman and CEO Robert Iger. “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.”

“For the past 35 years, one of my greatest pleasures has been to see Star Wars passed from one generation to the next,” said Lucas. “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. I’m confident that with Lucasfilm under the leadership of Kathleen Kennedy, and having a new home within the Disney organization, Star Wars will certainly live on and flourish for many generations to come. Disney’s reach and experience give Lucasfilm the opportunity to blaze new trails in film, television, interactive media, theme parks, live entertainment and consumer products.”

Kennedy, current co-chairman of Lucasfilm, will become president of Lucasfilm, reporting to Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn. Additionally, she will 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 this global franchise.

Kennedy will serve as executive producer on new Star Wars feature films, with 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 and grow the franchise well into the future.

The boards of directors of Disney and Lucasfilm have approved the transaction, which is subject to clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act, certain non-United States merger control regulations, and other customary closing conditions. The agreement has been approved by the sole shareholder of Lucasfilm.

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About Mr. Clevland

MrClevland has been a cartoon fan since, well, infancy. He has been writing nearly that long. Opinionated, yes, but backed with a wealth of personal knowledge on the subject. You can give r. C a piece of your mind here.

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