Latham and Skadden: Star Wars acquisition advise on they do

Latham & Watkins and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom have taken advisory roles on Walt Disney’s $4.05bn (£2.5bn) acquisition of Star Wars maker Lucasfilm.

The deal, paid for in a mixture of cash and shares, gives Disney the rights to the world-famous film series, with the US movie giant now unveiling plans to bring out a seventh Star Wars film.

Lucasfilm is 100 per cent owned by Star Wars creator George Lucas, who is set to receive a large payout.

The company turned to Latham, which fielded a team led out of the firm’s Silicon Valley base in Menlo Park.

The lead corporate partners were Christopher Kaufman, Tad Freese and Jamie Leigh alongside associates Chad Rolston, Abtin Jalali and Charlotte Chang. Other members of the US firm’s team on the deal were Menlo Park IP partner Anthony Klein and antitrust matters partners Joshua Holian in San Francisco and Susanne Zuehlke in Brussels.

Disney was advised by Skadden, with a team including Los Angeles corporate partner Brian McCarthy and New York corporate partner Howard Ellin, as well as Los Angeles corporate counsel Andrew Garelick.

Background to this deal:

Disney is one of the most prized clients in the US entertainment sector and, on the East Coast at least, was traditionally a client of defunct firm Dewey & LeBoeuf. New York corporate star Mort Pierce – now at White & Case – advised it on a number of its trophy acquisitions, including the $4bn purchase of Marvel Entertainment in 2009 (7 September 2009). He also advised it on its $7.4bn acquisition of Pixar Animation Studios in 2006. Dewey and Skadden together acted for Disney on the Pixar transaction.