April 28, 2016
Comcast’s NBCUniversal is buying DreamWorks Animation for $3.8 billion, as the company looks to capitalize on the popularity of DreamWorks animated successes.
The acquisition gives NBCUniversal a leg up in the ultra-competitive kids and family entertainment genre, given the popularity of DreamWorks’ Shrek, Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda and How to Train Your Dragon franchises.
The transaction, which is expected to close by year’s end, will see stockholders receive $41 in cash for each share of DreamWorks Animation common stock.
“DreamWorks Animation is a great addition to NBCUniversal,” said NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke. “Jeffrey Katzenberg and the DreamWorks organization have created a dynamic film brand and a deep library of intellectual property. DreamWorks will help us grow our film, television, theme parks and consumer products businesses for years to come. We have enjoyed extraordinary success over the last six years in animation with the emergence of Illumination Entertainment and its brilliant team at Illumination Mac Guff studio. The prospects for our future together are tremendous. We are fortunate to have Illumination founder Chris Meledandri to help guide the growth of the DreamWorks Animation business in the future.”
Once it is a done deal, DreamWorks Animation CEO and co-founder Jeffrey Katzenberg will be named chairman of DreamWorks New Media, which will also encompass Awesomeness TV and NOVA. Katzenberg will also serve as a consultant to NBCUniversal.
“Having spent the past two decades working together with our team to build DreamWorks Animation into one of the world’s most beloved brands, I am proud to say that NBCUniversal is the perfect home for our company; a home that will embrace the legacy of our storytelling and grow our businesses to their fullest potential,” Katzenberg said in a press release. “This agreement not only delivers significant value for our shareholders, but also supports NBCUniversal’s growing family entertainment business. As for my role, I am incredibly excited to continue exploring the potential of AwesomenessTV, NOVA and other new media opportunities, and can’t wait to get started.”
It may seem like Comcast overpaid to purchase DreamWorks, which was valued at about $2.3 billion, but given that it will acquire the firm’s popular animated movie business as well as a successful consumer products business and a thriving family TV operation with hundreds of hours of original, animated content distributed in more than 130 countries, it is probably a worthwhile deal. Also part of the package is DreamWorks Classics, a library of classic characters such as Where’s Waldo, and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.