Disney Purchasing Lucasfilm Ltd. For $4.05 Billion

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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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