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Disney Buys Lucasfilm for $4 Billion

Disney Buys Lucasfilm for $4 Billion

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Disney announced  today it will buy Lucasfilm for $4 billion in cash and stock.


George Lucas, the creator of the Star Wars franchise and CEO of Lucasfilm,  owns 100% of the company.

Even better: A new Star Wars movie, Episode VII, will debut in 2015. More  Star Wars feature films are planned after that.

Here’s the full press release:

BURBANK, Calif. & SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS  WIRE)– Continuing its strategy of delivering exceptional creative content to  audiences around the world, The Walt Disney Company  (NYSE:DIS) has agreed to acquire Lucasfilm Ltd. in a stock and cash transaction.  Lucasfilm is 100% owned by Lucasfilm Chairman and Founder, George Lucas.

Under the terms of the agreement and based on the  closing price of Disney stock on October 26, 2012, the transaction value is  $4.05 billion, with Disney paying approximately half of the consideration in  cash and issuing approximately 40 million shares at closing. The final  consideration will be subject to customary post-closing balance sheet  adjustments.

“Lucasfilm reflects the extraordinary passion,  vision, and storytelling of its founder, George Lucas,” said Robert A. Iger,  Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of  The Walt  Disney Company. “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 George Lucas, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer  of Lucasfilm. “It’s now time for me to pass Star Wars on to a  new generation of filmmakers. I’ve always believed thatStar  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.”

Under the deal, Disney will acquire ownership of  Lucasfilm, a leader in entertainment, innovation and  technology, 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. Disney will also acquire the substantial portfolio of cutting-edge  entertainment technologies that have kept audiences enthralled for many years.  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.

Kathleen 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. Ms. Kennedy 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 and grow the franchise well into the future.

The acquisition combines two highly compatible  family entertainment brands, and strengthens the long-standing beneficial  relationship between them that already includes successful integration  of Star Wars content into Disney theme parks in Anaheim,  Orlando, Paris and Tokyo.

Driven by a tremendously talented creative team,  Lucasfilm’s legendary Star Wars franchise has flourished for  more than 35 years, and offers a virtually limitless universe of characters and  stories to drive continued feature film releases and franchise growth over the  long term. Star Wars resonates with consumers around the  world and creates extensive opportunities for Disney to deliver the content  across its diverse portfolio of businesses including movies, television,  consumer products, games and theme parks. Star Wars feature  films have earned a total of $4.4 billion in global box to date, and continued  global demand has made Star Wars one of the world’s top  product brands, and Lucasfilm a leading product licensor in the United States in  2011. The franchise provides a sustainable source of high quality, branded  content with global appeal and is well suited for new business models including  digital platforms, putting the acquisition in strong alignment with Disney’s  strategic priorities for continued long-term growth.

The Lucasfilm acquisition follows Disney’s very  successful acquisitions of Pixar  and Marvel, which demonstrated the company’s unique ability to fully develop and  expand the financial potential of high quality creative content with compelling  characters and storytelling through the application ofinnovative  technology and  multiplatform distribution on a truly global basis to create maximum value.  Adding Lucasfilm to Disney’s portfolio of world class brands significantly  enhances the company’s ability to serve consumers with a broad variety of the  world’s highest-quality content and to create additional long-term value for our  shareholders.

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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