The Walt Disney Company have announced they have acquired infamous movie, television, and game production house Lucasfilm.
The deal, which closed for $4.05Bn financed in cash and stock, sees Disney pick up the rights to Lucasfilm’s past portfolio, including the rights to the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises, and all of its subsidiaries, including popular game producer Lucasarts.
Star Wars Episode 7, due for release in 2015, will be the first Lucasflim release under the Disney brand, with a view of continuing the Star Wars saga for many years to come. A new Indiana Jones movie is also set to enter the production pipeline next year.
The $4Bn transaction is financed with a mixture of cash and stock, with Disney paying approximately half of the price in cash to George Lucas, who owned 100% of the company, with the remained paid with approximately 40 million units of Disney shares.
Speaking about the transaction, Disney CEO Bob Iger said it, “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.”
Lucas also told of his reasons for selling the company, saying: “For the past 35 years, one of my greatest pleasures has been to see Star Wars passed from one generation to the next. 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.”
Other notable films with Lucasfilm involvement include ‘Labyrinth’ (1986), ‘The Land Before Time’ (1988), and more recently ‘Red Tails‘ (2012).
Both Disney and Lucasfilm have collaborated on a large number of projects in the past, occasionally sharing resources on set. Equally, Disney theme park ‘imagnineers’ also worked closely with the company to create Star Wars and Indiana Jones rides and attractions at Disney theme parks across the globe.
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