With the changes that seem to be right on the horizon with Warhammer 30k coming, the Hobbit/LotR had a missing piece of the puzzle on why the license was extended. According to this the license was extended or GW would have to destroy unsold models. If that license was getting close to expire, it is logical to extend it for the time being, while phasing it out to make room for Warhammer 30k/ historical battles.
Please remember that these are rumors.
via Steve the Warboss on Faeit 212
-GW have extended the Licence only for sell the rest of their Miniatures.
-Without a license, GW must destroy the unsold Models.
-Lord of the Ring Books will become a last reprint