First comes the epic storm and then comes the…mega-mergers? Less than 24 hours after a sizable chunk of the country was plunged into watery darkness, the Walt Disney Company announced its plan to acquire George Lucas‘s Lucasfilm in a stock and cash deal valued at $4.05 billion. Included in the deal are rights to the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises and Lucasfilm’s post-production powerhouses Industrial Light and Magic and Skywalker Sound.
So how did the deal-savvy Disney execs (see also: Pixar, Marvel) get to the magic number of $4.05 billion? “Our valuation focused almost entirely on the financial potential of the Star Wars franchise, which we expect to provide us with a stream of storytelling opportunities for years to come delivered via all relevant platforms on a global basis,” said Disney CFO Jay Rasulo in a statement that included news of the company’s plan to release Star Wars Episode 7 in 2015, with more feature films to follow under the watchful eye of Star Wars “brand manager” (and soon-to-be Lucasfilm president) Kathleen Kennedy.