The recent sale of Lucasfilm, the company responsible for the Star Wars, to the Walt Disney Company has made waves in the business and entertainment worlds.
The sale takes the privately-held businesses started and run by George Lucas and gives it a home in a publicly-held corporation. While the scale of this deal is certainly larger than those for the average Fairfax county small business, the issues that surround a publicly held corporation buying a privately held business remain relevant.
One consideration behind Mr. Lucas's decision to sell seems to be his age. The Lucasfilm founder and Star Wars director is 68-years-old and nearing retirement, which means that he, like many who have founded and fostered the growth of their own company, must make plans for the future of the business that allows continued growth and success. Included in this is vision, funding, and creative power to continue the highly successful Star Wars series. Mr. Lucas has provided Disney with treatments for three more films, which will continue his legacy at the company long after he is no longer working there.
Many small business owners would like to be able to retain some control after a sale to a larger corporation or holding company. In order to do that, it's important to have those terms written clearly into the merger or acquisition contract and to have an understanding with the other leaders of the company as to how those terms will come to fruition. Detail is important in any contract, and in these types of buy/sell agreements those details can have lasting effects on the legacy of the company.
More information about buy/sell agreements can be found on our Fairfax business attorney site.
Source: New York Times, "Disney Buying Lucasfilm for $4 Billion," Michael Cieply, Oct. 30, 2012.