George Lucas Files Form With SEC Allowing Sale of Disney Shares
Is George Lucas planning on selling his 37 million shares in the Walt Disney Co., or is he simply playing Jedi mind tricks? A recent filing with the Security and Exchange Commission indicates Lucas has the right to sell his shares—which are currently worth about $2 million and equal to about 2.1 percent of the company—but a spokeswoman says it was merely a required formalization of Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm. According to the filing, Lucas’ trust can sell his shares “from time to time” until it no longer holds any Disney stock.
Disney filed the Form S-3 Registration Statement Feb. 6, basically listing Lucas’ shares in the company for sale, but the action doesn’t mean a sale will occur. Instead, it allows Lucas—who is now Disney’s second-largest individual shareholder behind the estate of Steve Jobs—to sell the stock at his discretion. Lucas acquired the shares in Disney’s $4.06 billion purchase of Lucasfilm Ltd. Dec. 21.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Lucas plans to donate most of the proceeds from the sale of his company to education, although he has not specified as specific school or group. Disney has announced plans to produce a third trilogy of Lucasfilm’s “Star Wars” franchise, as well as at least two films based on characters from the series—with Han Solo already being mentioned. J.J. Abrams has been commissioned to direct the next trilogy, with the first film set for 2015.
Since its purchase of Lucasfilm, Disney’s stock has risen nearly 11 percent, all the more reason for Lucas to hold on to his shares—at least until the first “Star Wars” film is released. Analysts estimate a sale of his 37, million shares could trigger a run on the stock and indicate to investors that Lucas lacks confidence in Disney CEO Bob Iger and the future of the “Star Wars” franchise.
Lucas’ interests would be well-served to watch his shares grow in value. Although he has plenty of material wealth, Lucas has signed Bill Gates’ and Warren Buffett’s “Giving Pledge,” vowing to give away half his wealth before his death. Currently his personal wealth is valued between $1 billion and $2 billion, and he has already donated the $2 billion cash he got from the sale of Lucasfilm.
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