Disney to Acquire Lucasfilm, Star Wars Episode 7 Coming in 2015!

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.


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    HoChunk

    [img]http://picturehoster.info/images/92026376832581011667.jpg[/img]

    Jonathantrott

    Oh fuck.

    tiki god

    you know, I would really bitch about this, but they’ve done well with the Marvel movies, and holy fuck, could they do any worse than the prequels?

    Silverwolf

    Exactly. Also, given his work on Avengers, it wouldn’t be too far-fetched to see Whedon helming a Star Wars movie, which would be… intriguing.

    tiki god

    that would be amazingly awesomely delicious.

    timtim

    It’s too awesome to happen.

    HoChunk

    Imagine a Star Wars movie with sharp, witty writing throughout.
    Your brains would fucking EXPLODE.

    timtim

    If a film like that was made, you could rest assured that Disney would make all the money. All of it.

    Net-Jester

    And to think that entire interview was shot on green screen.

    evildrcheese

    I think I’m happy about this news, but man, I hope they don’t mess this up!

    Difficult to see the future is…

    Tiggle Bitties

    Anyone else hear the lawsuits raining in? No one, I repeat, NO ONE, will be able to use Star Wars IP for the next CENTURY under Disney’s purview, without paying huge sums to Disney.

    The extended universe is dead, folks. Carry on, Disney’s got it from here.

    Hector

    The extended universe is dead, folks.

    This is not a bad thing.

    tiki god

    at the very least, the comics won’t be with Dark Horse for very much longer.

    Aquaman43

    bingo. i fear for DH. they just went thru some lay-offs recently as it is, and losing this franchise will hurt. they hold some great properties, Buffy, Conan, Hellboy, but nothing sells as well as SW. hm.

    AustinDav

    These were my thoughts, too. There is no way Disney is going to be cool with letting their Property be freely used like Lucas has. As much as I may question some of his recent decisions, his treatment of the Star Wars universe as just being part of our cultural landscape now is fantastic.

    dogsurfer

    I left the theater stunned after the 1st Star Wars. The five sequels held diminishing interest. The franchise milking has over-saturated me. For 4 billion, Disney could have spent the maximum highest production cost 12 times ($258M Spiderman 3), on bold original screen plays. Disney, Stahp.
    The Dark Side of Star Wars (1:01) [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y60yzbhRX7wL[/youtube]

    dogsurfer

    The Dark Side of Star Wars (1:01) www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y60yzbhRX7wL

    twitch

    Just imagine a Star Wars and Guardians of the Galaxy crossover :p

    timtim

    This just occurred to me.

    Disney is like that kid who has the biggest, most awesome toybox ever. They have their own stuff, Marvel, and Star wars.

    Pretty much the most recognizable list of characters in existence right now. They could potentially do something spectacular, like Pixar animated Star Wars/Marvel crossover.

    The end result is we’ll probably just get Mickie mouse dolls in Spider man outfits with Light saber accessories.

    jonblaze81

    starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Jedi_Mickey

    Sorry folks, it has already begun.

    Korinthian

    So there’s a chance of another *good* Star Wars movie?

    That’s a good thing.

    timtim

    A chance is good.

    Luke Magnifico

    I’m fine with this. It’s been 7 years since episode III and not a squeak of anything new film-wise, if Disney wants to pick up Lucas’ slack that’s fine by me.

    Also I thought John Carter was great.

    JediaKyrol

    Does this mean the next Kingdom Hearts games will have key-lightsabers?

    anon

    I fear something terrible has happened…

    This is a total crapshoot. +1 internet for getting Lucas out of the EP seat. -1 for the massive merch influx we are about to get. +/- 1 on how the final product turns out. The Whedon idea is intriguing…

    Korinthian

    You’re saying Disney will milk the franchise with toys more than Lucas did? Is that possible?

    anon

    with the force anything is possible.

    I don’t think that Disney will produce more merch than Lucas did during film releases – I just figured the brand would die down with Clone Wars on the decline. I was really hoping for was a return to the post trilogy pre-special edition fandom. Should have known that will never happen. I love SW – but I also fucking hate it.

    Anonymoose

    So what we’re saying is that there’s no longer a copyright issue if we replace Jar-Jar with Stitch?