The Walt Disney Company has announced that it has purchased production house Lucasfilm Ltd. for US$4.05 billion in stock and cash.
This includes the legendary Star Wars franchise and its characters, LucasArts and other tech.
Lucasfilm is 100% owned by its Founder and CEO George Lucas.
Lucas will act as a creative consultant for the next Star Wars film—Star Wars Episode 7 that is also targeted for release in 2015—but plans to ‘retire’.
Disney plans to release feature films to continue the Star Wars saga, every one to three years from 2015—with episodes 8 and 9 following on.
The transaction for the acquisition includes Disney paying roughly half in cash and issuing about 40 million shares at closing of market.
The final consideration will be subject to customary post-closing balance sheet adjustments.
“For the past 35 years, one of my greatest pleasures has been to see Star Wars passed from one generation to the next,” George Lucas said in a statement. “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.”
[via The Walt Disney Company]