With government approval now granted in the United States and the European Union, The Walt Disney Company announced today that they had completed their muli-billion dollar acquisition of Lucasfilm, clearing the way for the studio's planned Star Wars sequels.
"We’re thrilled to welcome Lucasfilm to the Disney family," said Disney CEO Robert Iger. "Star Wars is one of the greatest family entertainment franchises of all time and this transaction combines that world class content with Disney’s unique and unparalleled creativity across multiple platforms, businesses, and markets, which we believe will generate growth as well as significant long-term value."
Under the terms of the merger agreement, at closing Disney issued 37,076,679 shares and made a cash payment of $2,208,199,950. Based upon the closing price of Disney shares on December 21, 2012 at $50.00, the transaction has a total value of approximately $4.06 billion.
Lucasfilm’s assets include its massively popular Star Wars franchise, operating businesses in live action film production, consumer products, animation, visual effects, and audio post production, as well as a substantial portfolio of cutting-edge entertainment technologies. It operates under the names Lucasfilm Ltd. LLC, LucasArts, Industrial Light & Magic, and Skywalker Sound.
The deal also includes the rights to make sequels based on the popular Indiana Jones franchise, although Disney has said that the stumbling blocks to using that property are substantial, with Paramount owning the existing movies. The value of that property was apparently not calculated when determining the overall value of Lucasfilm. Additional licensing may allow for Disney to take over the toy and merchandising rights, however.