Disney announces plans to acquire Lucasfilm, release 'Star Wars Episode 7' in 2015

The Walt Disney Co. will acquire Lucasfilm Ltd. in a stock and cash transaction valued at $4.05 billion, according to an announcement released Tuesday.

The deal will make George Lucas -- who became a movie-making icon with his “Indiana Jones” and “Star Wars” franchises -- even wealthier since he is the sole owner of the Lucasfilm, according to the announcement.

Disney said it would pay for roughly half of the acquisition in cash, while issuing about 40 million shares at closing.

Buried in the announcement were Disney's plans to release 'Star Wars Episode 7' in 2015.

In a statement, Disney Chairman and Chief Executive Robert Iger said the deal would combine the “world-class portfolio” of Lucasfilm with Disney’s ability to distribute content across multiple platforms to maximize the “significant long-term value” of its products.

To that end, Lucas said in a statement that the deal was an important part in his quest to see his movie franchises passed on from one generation to the next.

“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,” he said.

-- Jason Wells, Times Community News

Follow Jason Wells on Facebook, Google+ and on Twitter: @JasonBretWells


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