Great news for Star Wars fans. According to a press release just released, The Walt Disney Company have today announced that it has agreed to buy Lucasfilm for just over $4billion in a stock and cash transaction from current owner and Lucasfilm Chairman George Lucas. Disney will pay approximately half of the consideration in cash and issuing approximately 40 million shares at closing.
Even more excitingly, Disney have also announced that the company is planning Star Wars Episode 7 for a 2015 release.
Robert A. Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company released the news with the following appraisal of the company:
“Lucasfilm reflects the extraordinary passion, vision, and storytelling of its founder, George Lucas. This transaction combines a world-class portfolio of content including Star Wars, one of the greatest familyentertainment 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.”
And Lucas himself confirmed that the transaction will see Star Wars pass down to a new generation of film-makers:
“For the past 35 years, one of my greatest pleasures has been to see Star Wars passed from one generation to the next. 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 and obviously the mega-popular Star Wars franchise and its operating businesses in live action film production, consumer products, animation, visual effects, and audio post production.
Hopefully, Disney can now do for Lucasfilm what they have done most recently for Pixar and Marvel, and repair some of the problems of more recent creations in the company’s name.
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