Disney Acquires Lucasfilm, Star Wars Franchise

DISNEY CAPTURES FORCE: Walt Disney Co. has agreed to acquire Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion, which gives it control over the lucrative Star Wars franchise. The studio immediately announced plans to release a seventh live-action addition to George Lucas’ space odyssey in 2015. Disney previously acquired Marvel Entertainment for $4 billion in 2009, and Pixar Animation Studios for $7.4 billion in 2006. Said Bob Iger: "This transaction combines a world-class portfolio of content with Disney's unique and unparalleled creativity across multiple platforms, businesses and markets to generate sustained growth and drive significant long-term value.” There are no plans to name Darth Vader to the company’s Board. Disney's purchase will also give it ownership of special-effects company Industrial Light & Magic, sound company Skywalker Sound and video game publisher LucasArts. Disney will fund approximately half of the purchase price with cash and the rest by issuing 40 million shares of stock. Regulatory authorities must still approve the acquisition. (10/30p)

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