Disney buys Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion*

starwars.jpgIt's a stock and cash deal for the privately held film company best known for the "Star Wars" series. Kind of makes sense considering that George Lucas announced earlier this year that he would step down from day-to-day operations. As part of the deal, Kathleen Kennedy, the current co-chairman of Lucasfilm, becomes president and reports to Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn. Disney gets the company's library, as well as LucasArts, Industrial Light & Magic, and Skywalker Sound. From the NYT:

Combined with the purchase of Marvel Entertainment for $4 billion in 2009 and of Pixar Animation Studios for $7.4 billion in 2006, the acquisition also guarantees the legacy of Robert A. Iger, Disney's chief executive, as a builder who aggressively expanded the company since taking charge in 2005.

The capper: Disney plans to relase Episode 7 of Star Wars, perhaps by 2015. Here's the release

*NY magazine's Kevin Roose has his doubts about the Star Wars franchise:

Disney called Star Wars an "evergreen" media property today. But the prospect of keeping the Star Wars series going ad infinitum, and expanding it to regions and age groups in which it isn't already well known or loved, is far from a sure bet with consumers. It essentially amounts to wagering that die-hards will continue to flock to anything with the Star Wars name on it, while also betting that new movies will draw a younger generation that didn't grow up on Millenium Falcon references. Disney can't rely on old intellectual property -- it needs Lucasfilm to keep throwing off cash to justify its $4 billion price tag.

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Mark Lacter
Mark Lacter created the LA Biz Observed blog in 2006. He posted until the day before his death on Nov. 13, 2013.
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