Just watch. It's a pretty hilarious riff on the recently announced $4.05-billion deal for Disney to buy Lucasfilm, and with it "Star Wars" and its 17,000 characters, of which Darth Vader is perhaps the most iconic.
He even seems to have developed a newfound patience for princesses. Wonder if Leia will be Disney's newest intergalatic princess, by the way?
George Lucas poses with a group of "Star Wars"-inspired Disney characters. Disney is buying Lucasfilm for $4 billion and with it, the "Star Wars" franchise.
Did you hear? Disney just announced that it's buying "Star Wars" — I mean Lucasfilm — for $4.05 billion. That sounds like a lot, but people are already raising questions about whether the financial upside to owning one of the most famous entertainment franchises of all time is really there for the Mighty Mouse and Disney CEO Bob Iger.
We have two main lines of thinking. One is that, in the context of Disney and Iger's previous blockbuster acquisitions — Pixar for $7.4 billion in 2006 and Marvel for $4 billion in 2009 — Lucasfilm, even if it comes with an influential special effects operation, looks curiously undervalued. I noted this in my post yesterday when I observed that Disney, in announcing the deal, tallied the all-time film grosses for "Star Wars" at $4.4 billion. That's just movies. Wouldn't that mean - when you take into account all the toys and games and just endless amounts of Star-Wars-y stuff - that the property is worth billions more?
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"Stars Wars" Imperial storm troopers. They work for Disney now.
UPDATE 4: Iger and his team see upside in the deal in the future, in terms of exploiting new filmmaking opportunities and realizing new consumer-product opportunities. The idea seems to be that "Star Wars" merchandising has room to run outside North America.
Also, Disney doesn't have a completely free hand with "Star Wars," due to intellectual-property claims that Fox and Paramount may hold from the films that they worked on.
UPDATE 3: In its last earnings report, Disney had over $4 billion in cash. However, Iger pointed out that Disney expects a return on Lucasfilm "well in advance of its cost of capital," suggesting that the company didn't burn half its cash on hand to make this acquisition. Although the company is proposing to buy back, in several years, the shares it issued to complete the deal. This will hit Disney a bit in terms of share value — issuing new stock will dilute the value of existing stock.