The Walt Disney Company said that it has agreed to acquire Lucasfilm Ltd. for $4.05 Billion in a stock and cash transaction from George Lucas, who owns 100% of the business.
Under the terms of the deal, Disney will pay Lucas approximately half of the purchase price in cash, and the remainder via approximately 40 million shares of Disney stock.
At the close of the transaction Disney will acquire ownership of Lucasfilm, including its popular Star Wars franchise, as well as Lucasfilm’s 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 are owned by various Lucasfilm companies including Lucasfilm Ltd., LucasArts, Industrial Light & Magic, and Skywalker Sound. Disney says its present intention is for Lucasfilm employees to remain in their current locations.
Disney likened the Lucasfilm deal to its earlier acquisitions of Pixar and Marvel, which it said has enabled it to “create maximum value” through the use of innovative technology and multiplatform distribution on a truly global basis.
The two companies have a long-standing relationship between them that includes successful integration of Star Wars content into Disney theme parks in Anaheim, Orlando, Paris and Tokyo. Following on from this deal, it’s likely the relationship will be expanded greatly. Disney said that Star WarsEpisode 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.
“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 Robert Iger, Chairman & CEO of The Walt Disney Company
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.
Press Release: Disney to Acquire Lucasfilm Ltd.
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