Walt Disney buys Star Wars franchise, Lucasfilm, Industrial Light & Magic (and more) for $4.05 billion
Disney is permanently taking a trip to "a galaxy far, far away." Walt Disney will purchase Lucasfilm for a reported amount of $4.05 billion from George Lucas.
This will be a cash and stock transaction. Approximately half will be cash and the other half will be about 40 million shares issued by Disney to Lucasfilm shareholders. This deal includes all rights to the Star Wars juggernaut, Lucasfilm Ltd., LucasArts, Industrial Light & Magic and Skywalker Sound.
Talk about one of the largest entertainment buyouts ever!
Here's a statement released by Lucas himself, about this deal:
“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.”
Wow. This is absolutely shocking that Lucas is moving on without his baby and a franchise that has seriously redefined the movie industry to this very day. Stay tuned as Disney will most likely look to expand Star Wars beyond what has been seen since the prequel trilogy wrapped up in 2005.
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