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Walt Disney (NYSE: DIS ) is acquiring Lucasfilm, creator of the Star Wars series, for $4.05 billion in cash and stock. The deal was announced yesterday with Disney calling it part of its strategy of "delivering exceptional creative content to audiences." Lucasfilm is 100% owned by founder George Lucas and about half the deal will be in cash.
Disney also announced that it will release a new set of three Star Wars films under the "Disney-Lucasfilm" brand beginning in 2015. After this, the company plans to release a new Star Wars feature "every two to three years".
The Lucasfilm purchase is the latest in a string of high-profile intellectual property acquisitions for Disney. In 2009, it bought Marvel Entertainment, a producer of superhero comic books and related properties. In 2006 it acquired Pixar, the animation feature film studio.