Steven Jobs Buys Lucasfilm Unit
PALO ALTO, Calif. (AP) _ Former Apple Computer chairman Steven Jobs has bought a controlling interest in Pixar, the computer graphics division of Lucasfilm Ltd., from film producer George Lucas.
Pixar, started by the Lucas in 1979, developed a specialized ″image computer″ that has been used to create breathtaking special effects in several films.
No details of Friday’s acquisition were available, but the San Francisco Chronicle reported that Jobs paid several million dollars for a majority stake in Pixar. The firm’s 44 other employees will own the remaining stock.
Jobs, 30, resigned from Apple in September and sold a big chunk of his stock for $57 million. Since then, he has founded an educational computer company based here called Next Inc.
Pixar President Edwin Catmull said Jobs’ offer was not the best monetarily, but that it didn’t matter.
″Frankly there was a lot of nervousness about us getting buried in a larger company and we felt Steve understands our vision,″ Catmull said. ″We spent a lot of time with Steve and felt he was a kindred soul who understood the kind of company we wanted to be.″
Besides its use in filmaking, Pixar computers, worth $125,000 each, can be used in medical imaging, mapping, oil exploration, printing and computer-aided design, he said.