It has just been announced that Disney is buying the company behind the Star Wars franchise, Lucasfilm, from its founder George Lucas for $4.05 billion. Mr. Lucas reportedly said: “It’s now time for me to pass Star Wars on to a new generation of film-makers.”
In their press release announcing the purchase, Disney stated that they are planning to release a new Star Wars film, episode seven, by 2015. This will be followed by episodes eight and nine, and then a new movie every two or three years, believing that there is “substantial pent-up demand.”
The deal has Disney paying half in cash and half in stock, issuing 40 million Disney shares as part of the transaction. The deal further solidifies Disney’s moorings in the Entertainment Industry, serving as an addition to their existing acquisitions Pixar, which was bought for $7.4B in 2006, and Marvel comics, which was bought for 4.2B in 2009.
“Our valuation of Lucasfilm is roughly comparable to the value we placed on Marvel when we announced that acquisition in 2009,” Disney said, adding that the valuation was almost entirely driven by the Star Wars franchise.