On October 30, 2012, the US based multinational mass media and entertainment company Walt Disney announced that it would acquire Lucasfilm. A so called “Mega-deal” was on its way, valued at $ 4.05 billion, equally split between stocks and cash. The deal was sealed after negotiations that took over a year and a half, and for Disney it was the third significant acquisition after the buyouts of Marvel and Pixar.
Being in a highly competitive market, Disney was seeking the growth through acquisitions in order to reverse its poor performance showed over of the last past years. A new strategy was to be implemented to ensure their sustenance in the market by attracting new audiences. Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm was an important milestone in the company’s new strategy. In 2012, one of the greatest sales contracts in the movie history became true as a result of long negotiations between Robert Iger, the CEO of Walt Disney, and George Lucas, the founder and owner of Lucasfilm. The negotiation between the two parties, which will further be analyzed below, was a long process of building trust and using strategies to create more value for both counterparts.
The Wald Disney Company
The Wald Disney Company, founded on October 16th 1923 by brothers Walt and Roy Disney, is one of the most companies in the animation industry, known for providing high class entertainment, with international theme parks and a world-class animation studio and business franchise. A company that nearly dominating the entertainment industry. Famous names such as Mickey Mouse began with Disney, and were the foundation of a company that has now branched out into several entertainment studios, theme parks and resorts, consumer products, other media productions and one of the biggest movie studios in the world.
On October 1, 2005, Robert Iger replaced Eisner as CEO. Since becoming Disney’s CEO in 2005, Robert A. Iger has aggressively expanded the company beyond its traditional niche. On January 23, 2006, it was announced that Disney would purchase Pixar. The deal, valued at $7.4 billion. On August 31, 2009, Disney announced a deal to acquire Marvel Entertainment for $4.24 billion, in a deal completed on December 31, 2009. These heavily- expensive, but ingenious acquisitions reflect Disney’s focus on branding and leveraging well-known and well received properties.
Later, in August 2011, Bob Iger stated on a conference call that after the success of the Pixar and Marvel purchases, he and the Walt Disney Company are looking to “buy either new characters or businesses that are capable of creating great characters and great stories.”
On October 30, 2012, Disney announced plans to acquire Lucasfilm in a deal valued at $4.05 billion. Disney announced an intent to leverage the Star Wars franchise across its divisions, and planned to produce a seventh installment in the main film franchise for release in 2015.5758 The Lucasfilm acquisition could turn out to be Iger’s last big move at Disney. He plans to step down as CEO in 2015, although he’ll remain chairman for another year.