Analyst applauds Disney/Lucas deal


DisneyIt’s not every day that a company announces a deal valued at $4B – but Wells Fargo Securities analyst Marci Ryvicker believes the acquisition of Lucas Films by Walt Disney is a neat fit, and a relatively unencumbered one at that.

The key to the deal is the Star Wars franchise, as Ryvicker sees it – it has already been announced that a third SW trilogy will kick off in 2015 with installments following in 2017 and 2019. She noted that the last triology was good for about $1.5B in revenue per film in today’s dollars.

She said that Disney proved its ability to make such an acquisition work with its similarly-priced acquisition of Marvel.

And the kicker is that the Lucas Film deal is better than that one was – Disney was not allowed to incorporate all of the Marvel characters it wished into its theme parks due to existing deals between Marvel and Paramount; and it was forced to pay Paramount $115M to acquire distribution rights to Marvel films.

In this buy, Fox has had the rights to distribute Star Wars films, the right only applies to those already produced and will not impact the new trilogy that’s in the works. Disney will also benefit from licensing income related to the acquisition.

The deal is expected to be accretive by 2015.