Disney Buys LucasFilm From George Lucas For $4B; STAR WARS: EPISODE 7 Set For 2015 Release

Disney Buys LucasFilm From George Lucas For $4B; STAR WARS: EPISODE 7 Set For 2015 Release

After acquiring Marvel for $4 billion, the news has broken that Disney are set to pay almost the exact same amount for LucasFilm, ushering in a new era of Star Wars movies, starting with "Episode 7" in 2015. Hit the jump to read the press release in full.

Continuing its strategy of delivering exceptional creative content to audiences around the world, The Walt Disney Company 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 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."

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 of innovative 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.

Posted By:
Josh Wilding
Member Since 3/13/2009
Filed Under "Star Wars" 10/30/2012
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NightWingNut - 10/30/2012, 1:03 PM
I have no words...
Luigi - 10/30/2012, 1:03 PM
Didn't see that coming.. Let Marvel Studios make a Star Wars movie, I feel like they would be perfect
jimpinto24 - 10/30/2012, 1:03 PM
WOW!!!!! At least Star Wars: Episode 7 will be in theaters in 2015!
kevberg - 10/30/2012, 1:04 PM
wwoohooo. mickey vs wolverine vs darth maul...wooohooo....
Jazza815 - 10/30/2012, 1:04 PM
No, its just not fair
santoanderson - 10/30/2012, 1:04 PM
Good Star Wars movies CAN exist, as long as old, crusty, CGI-loving George Lucas isn't making them.
DaenerysTargaryen - 10/30/2012, 1:05 PM
Please please oh god please have Star Wars episode 7 actually be good!
kevberg - 10/30/2012, 1:05 PM
ooooooo....dark horse just crapped a brick
ATrueHero1987 - 10/30/2012, 1:05 PM
Ok cool but can Disney buy back F4?!.....Please??
FtLoiterDale - 10/30/2012, 1:05 PM
Probably the only person that will hit the "like" button... Disney making moves.. I will be entertained for life 8)
marckos - 10/30/2012, 1:07 PM
toco89 - 10/30/2012, 1:07 PM
Its all over.

At least for Star Wars.

They ain't wasting no time either.
BruceLeroy - 10/30/2012, 1:07 PM
What the [frick].
TheRock234 - 10/30/2012, 1:07 PM
Dude that just hit me like a bang my god maybe avengers and star wars crossover
KNIGHT3000 - 10/30/2012, 1:08 PM
Just when you prequel haters thought it couldn't get worse... Didn't they pay the same for MARVEL?

Still, I guess, I can't wait for Episode 7
SKAPEGOAT - 10/30/2012, 1:08 PM
is it April 1? WTH? I can't believe this!
Jollem - 10/30/2012, 1:09 PM
holy sh!t! the mouse is a dominate force. fear the mouse

jedi academy trilogy, please
PaulRom - 10/30/2012, 1:09 PM
This feels like April Fool's Day. Never thought I'd live to see Star Wars Episode 7. Insane.
GLprime2814 - 10/30/2012, 1:09 PM
I'm actually glad for this atleast we won't have another prequel roadster in threw hands of lucas, at let this way they can pick any good director.
Battabing - 10/30/2012, 1:09 PM
And the evil empire continues to extend its reach.
KNIGHT3000 - 10/30/2012, 1:09 PM
I knew I shoulda held out another 30 years for the box set
thebamf - 10/30/2012, 1:10 PM
0_O Holy Crap!
Raythbane - 10/30/2012, 1:10 PM
Holy Bantha poop!!!!!
Tony93 - 10/30/2012, 1:10 PM
TrollHunter - 10/30/2012, 1:10 PM
Whoa whoa whoa, wait a minute, is this for real?
JerBear - 10/30/2012, 1:10 PM
Episode 7? As in a sequel to Return of the Jedi?
KNIGHT3000 - 10/30/2012, 1:10 PM

Good 1
Tomontherun99 - 10/30/2012, 1:10 PM
Episode 7 ISN'T being made by Lucas? It might actually have a chance of being good. Lucas is creative and good at action but most of the good stuff even from the original 3 movies were from collaborators.
WEJAlen20 - 10/30/2012, 1:11 PM
DemonicJoker666 - 10/30/2012, 1:11 PM
my life is over as of now....
Tony93 - 10/30/2012, 1:11 PM
KNIGHT3000 - 10/30/2012, 1:12 PM
Still can't believe Lucas sold
WEJAlen20 - 10/30/2012, 1:12 PM
Vadakin - 10/30/2012, 1:12 PM
bagadoosh - 10/30/2012, 1:13 PM
Newbus - 10/30/2012, 1:14 PM
April fools!!!???

Episode 7? Does that mean Lucas cancelled the live action TV series and replaced it with a film?
BigDamnHero - 10/30/2012, 1:14 PM
-weeps in a corner-

Please god no. Not again! No more!
JayTopStix - 10/30/2012, 1:14 PM
HOLY FRACKING SHIZZNIT! I canot believe this. Episode 7 is a dream come true.
AC1 - 10/30/2012, 1:15 PM
NO! No more Star Wars movies! The original trilogy was perfect, but the prequels were dissappointing and proved Star Wars should've been left as a trilogy.
BackwardGalaxy - 10/30/2012, 1:15 PM
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