While the sale of Lucasfilm to Disney in 2012 is well recorded, what’s probably not so well known is the deal that George Lucas struck in terms of payment. Of that $4bn fee for Lucasfilm, Lucas took just over half in cash and the rest in Disney stock….and anyone who’s been following the movie business and more recently the expanding arena of streaming will know that those stocks are worth more than a vial of coaxium in the Maw. Celebrity Net Worth take a closer look at the only man who’s made the deal of the century in two different century’s.
George opted for a half cash/half stock deal. Technically, the deal was 55% cash/45% stock:
$2.21 billion in cash
37,076,679 shares of Disney
At the time the deal was closed, Disney was trading at $50 per share, so the “stock” portion was $1.85 billion. His 37 million shares represented a roughly 2.1% stake in the company. He was immediately the second-largest individual shareholder behind Laurene Powell Jobs, Steve Jobs’ widow. When Steve Jobs sold Pixar to Disney in 2006, he received 138 million shares of the company, roughly 7% of the total outstanding. Laurene inherited his stake after Steve’s death. Laurene has since sold off roughly half of the stake but she is the largest individual shareholder, owning around 4% of Disney.
Immediately before the Disney sale was announced, George Lucas’s net worth was $3.3 billion. After the deal was confirmed, we estimated his after-tax net worth at $5.5 billion.
By all accounts, George Lucas has not sold a significant number of his Disney shares. In 2013 there were reports that he had sold 100% of his stake. Those reports were quickly debunked. What had actually happened was George filed notice with the Securities Exchange Commission after transferring the shares to The George W. Lucas, Jr. Fourth Amended and Restated Living Trust. Some outlets interpreted that as a filing to indicate intention to liquidate. A LucasFilm rep rejected the rumors, affirming George had no intention of selling his shares then or anytime soon.
It gets better!
In years when Disney is paying dividends (which historically has been every year except 2020), as the owner of 37 million shares, George receives $32 million twice a year as a dividend payment. So in the years 2013 – 2019, George presumably received around $448 million in dividends.
Put it all together and you now understand why George’s net worth today is sitting at an all-time high of $10 billion.
Star Wars Insider #202 (Newsstand Edition) @ ForbiddenPlanet.com