Disney to buy Lucasfilm for $4 billion

Posted Tuesday, October 30, 2012 4:27 PM | Contributed by Jeff

[Ed. note: The following is an excerpt from a press release. -J]

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 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.

Read the entire press release from The Walt Disney Company.

Thursday, November 1, 2012 12:11 PM
Jeff's avatar

I think the story arc of episodes 1-3 is actually pretty interesting, it's just that the dialog, acting and editing choices were not so good.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Music: The Modern Gen-X - Video

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Thursday, November 1, 2012 12:31 PM

Didn't Lucas always say he had no intention of ever doing movies 7-9? I always wondered why.

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Thursday, November 1, 2012 12:45 PM
eightdotthree's avatar

Jeff said:
I think the story arc of episodes 1-3 is actually pretty interesting, it's just that the dialog, acting and editing choices were not so good.

I voted this up but have to also comment that I agree. When you sit back and think about the story it's pretty epic. I feel like with some creative editing they could be better films.

Also of note is how Lucas plans to use the money from the sale.

The Hollywood Reporter
By the end of the year, the $4.05 billion sale of Lucasfilm to Disney should be finalized. And since George Lucas owns 100 percent of his company - which has little to no debt - all that money goes to him.

After that, Lucas plans to quickly put the bulk of the money into a foundation which will primarily focus on educational issues, a spokesperson for Lucasfilm tells THR.


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Thursday, November 1, 2012 12:46 PM

Back in the late 1970's, there were supposed to be three trilogies. Only the middle story got Mae, and I think it changed a bit as Episodes V and VI were made. Likewise, I am certain that the story changed a bit for I-III, but even so, they were part of the original plan.

My understanding is that part of the Disney deal included a treatment for Episode VII, written by George Lucas. I'm not sure where the story goes from here, but given what Disney knows about telling a story and what everybody should have learned from the disaster that was Episode I, there is a good possibility that VII-IX could be decent movies.

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Thursday, November 1, 2012 1:41 PM

eightdotthree said:

I feel like with some creative editing they could be better films.

Indeed - Machete Order:

IV - V - II - III - VI

RideMan said:

My understanding is that part of the Disney deal included a treatment for Episode VII...

As I understand it, Lucas has provided detailed treatments for episodes VII-IX.

Last edited by djDaemon, Thursday, November 1, 2012 1:48 PM

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Thursday, November 1, 2012 1:43 PM
Tekwardo's avatar

If you ever watch the 90+ minute documentaries that come with the prequel DVDs, Lucas said that he envisioned 3 trilogies, but that to be honest, he felt that the story had been told (I'm assuming he meant from his prospective) and no longer felt the need to do another trilogy.

I figure a lot of that comes from the fact that he probably doesn't want to spend another decade doing Star Wars. He's always had a high regard for Disney, saying only they could do Star Wars justice when bringing the franchise to life. I agree.

I definitely don't think Disney will just churn out another trilogy. I'm excited about this. The whole story of Star Wars is great. Great basis. But George Lucas (Much Like Gene Roddenberry) needs to work as a consultant, working on the base of it, but not exerting the control he has over it, IMO. The prequels were too focused on the wrong things. Poor dialog and direction. Too much emphasis on CGI (and not even really great CGI), and thinks to make it more profitable, that didn't add to the overall story.

The podrace scene, Jar Jar binks, and some other things come to mind that, to me, didn't advance the story, and were simple marketing ploys for more toys and what not.

The best thing about the origional trilogy was that Lucas didn't direct or wright the best of them. He got lucky with A New Hope.

I'm excited. I can see major attractions in the future, hopefully some cool TV shows. I hear the cartoons are good, but I haven't delved into them yet. And I'm excited for new movies with Lucas where he needs to be, coming up with a concept and driving the story, but not writing the script or screen play, and definitely not directing.

That's what happened after the first Star Trek picture, and, save for ST V, the franchise was so much better off.


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Thursday, November 1, 2012 1:43 PM
Tekwardo's avatar

P.S., I hear that the Topher Grace cut of the prequel trilogy was amazing. Wish I could see it.


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Thursday, November 1, 2012 2:08 PM
StLCPfan's avatar

I was joking with a friend yesterday that this is like the Judge Dredd Taco Bell-ization of the entertainment industry. Pretty soon we're going to see Disney own everything - next they're going to buy ALL the amusement parks, and eventually the planet. And when that happens, Pluto will get full planet status restored LOL.

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Thursday, November 1, 2012 3:40 PM
Vater's avatar

djDaemon said:

eightdotthree said:

I feel like with some creative editing they could be better films.

Indeed - Machete Order:

IV - V - II - III - VI

Thank you for this. I just dorked out reading that blog post; it's brilliant. I'm looking forward to trying this. Should be effective, because the original trilogy isn't too fresh in my mind and I haven't watched the prequels since they were in theaters.

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Thursday, November 1, 2012 4:07 PM
Jeff's avatar

We did it when the BluRay version came out. It does make sense, even with the extra Vater-nooooooooooooooo!


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Music: The Modern Gen-X - Video

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Thursday, November 1, 2012 4:31 PM

Jeff said:

Vater-nooooooooooooooo!

Freudian slip? Or accidental misspelling? You be the judge! ;)

And yes, I know quoting the previous post is frowned on. But I didn't think what I was referring to would be very noticeable.

Last edited by Mike Gallagher, Thursday, November 1, 2012 4:34 PM

The amusement park rises bold and stark..kids are huddled on the beach in a mist

http://support.gktw.org/site/TR/CoastingForKids/General?px=1248054&...fr_id=1372

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Thursday, November 1, 2012 4:49 PM
Tekwardo's avatar

Wasn't Taco Bell featured in Demolition Man, not Judge Dredd.


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Thursday, November 1, 2012 5:00 PM

I believe you're right......

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Thursday, November 1, 2012 5:46 PM
StLCPfan's avatar

Sorry, wrong movie, thanks for the correction. But you get the idea of the corporate takeover.

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Thursday, November 1, 2012 5:48 PM

A few years back there were rumors of the Night Kingdom - a higher end more immersive park to compete with Sea World's Discovery Cove. I would love to see them take that general concept and make it Star Wars themed.

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Thursday, November 1, 2012 10:17 PM
Tekwardo's avatar

Since Leia is now a Disney Princess, I can't wait to see her in her slave costume at the princess meet and greet.


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Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.

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Friday, November 2, 2012 5:35 AM

Just so long as it's not still Carrie Fisher in the metal bikini...


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Friday, November 2, 2012 9:18 AM

^(shudders)


The amusement park rises bold and stark..kids are huddled on the beach in a mist

http://support.gktw.org/site/TR/CoastingForKids/General?px=1248054&...fr_id=1372

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Friday, November 2, 2012 10:19 AM
Jeff's avatar

I find your anti-arousal techniques disturbing.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Music: The Modern Gen-X - Video

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Friday, November 2, 2012 1:17 PM

those movies were crap anyway, and aren't worth 2 cents.

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