Bob Iger, chairman-CEO, Walt Disney Co.

Dealmakers Impact Report 2012: Visionaires

Some dealmakers sign talent. Others arrange financing. But if you’re Bob Iger, you build an empire and leave behind a lasting legacy. When Walt Disney Co. announced the $4.05 billion acquisition of Lucasfilm in late October, it was the capstone on the new Disney edifice that Iger has constructed brick by brick. “The Star Wars universe now has more than 17,000 characters inhabiting several thousand planets spanning 200 years,” Iger told investors. “This gives Disney infinite inspiration, and opportunities, to continue the epic Star Wars franchise.” Lucasfilm is now moving forward on a seventh “Star Wars” film that Disney plans to distribute in 2015 as the first of three new movies in the series. Iger coaxed company founder George Lucas to sell in part by pointing out Disney’s successful acquisitions of Pixar Animation for $7.4 billion in 2006 and comic-book giant Marvel Entertainment for $4 billion in 2009, both of which have panned out well. Disney’s modus operandi is to give wide creative berth to the acquired companies and not exert top-down pressure for synergies.

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Top Cause: Chairman of the capital campaign to raise $100 million for the Motion Picture Academy’s new movie museum

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