George Lucas makes $2.2bn from Walt Disney stock

Blockbuster films fuel big rise in value of stocks

Harrison Ford and Peter Mayhew in Star Wars. George Lucas sold his Lucas film group to Disney at the end of 2012, receiving $2.2 billion in cash and 37.1 million Disney shares.

Harrison Ford and Peter Mayhew in Star Wars. George Lucas sold his Lucas film group to Disney at the end of 2012, receiving $2.2 billion in cash and 37.1 million Disney shares.

 

George Lucas has made a $2.2 billion paper profit on the Walt Disney stock he received in exchange for the rights to Star Wars thanks to the out performance of the media company’s shares.

Disney shares have risen close to 70 per cent over the past two years, fuelled by blockbuster films such as Frozen and superhero hits from the company’s Marvel division. Investors also have high hopes for the coming year which features two releases from its Pixar stable and the hotly anticipated Star Wars: The Force Awakens in December.

Lucas sold his Lucas film group to Disney at the end of 2012, receiving $2.2billion in cash and 37.1 million Disney shares, according to regulatory filings. At the time, Lucas’s Disney shares were worth $1.9billion, giving the deal a total value of $4.1 billion.

But the shares he received are now also worth $4.1 billion, giving the Lucas film deal a total value of approximately $6.3 billion.

In the last two years Disney shares have outperformed peers such as Time Warner, CBS and Viacom. The rising share price has also led to vast paper profits for individuals who received equity after selling their companies to Disney.

Isaac “Ike” Perlmutter was the largest shareholder in Marvel Entertainment when it was acquired by Disney in 2009 in a cash and stock deal worth $4.2 billion.

The Marvel deal transformed Disney’s film output: it recently released The Avengers: Age of Ultron, which scored the second-biggest opening weekend performance of all time in the US. The top three opening weekend movies are all from Disney/Marvel. – Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2015