The creator of Shrek, Kung Fu Panda and many other popular kids’ franchises, DreamWorks Animation is soon going to be acquired by NBCUniversal, a division of Comcast Corporation. The studio will go on to become part of the larger entity (Universal Filmed Entertainment Group) that houses Universal Pictures, Fandango, and NBCUniversal Brand Development.
DreamWorks Animation CEO and co-founder Jeffrey Katzenberg, following the completion of the process, will take up the position of Chairman of DreamWorks New Media. This division will consist of company’s ownership stakes in Awesomeness TV and NOVA.
The terms of the agreement put DreamWorks Animation at an equity value of approximately $3.8 billion. Stockholders in the firm will $41 in cash for each share of DreamWorks Animation common stock. That accounts for a 24 percent premium to the company’s Wednesday closing price of $32.20. The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of this year, subject to receipt of antitrust approvals in the US and abroad, as well as the satisfaction of other customary closing conditions. The terms of the agreement were negotiated by the boards of directors of DreamWorks Animation and Comcast.
DreamWorks Animation is a great addition to NBCUniversal.
said Steve Burke, CEO of NBCUniversal.
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.
The acquisition provisions NBCUniversal a new set of audiences with not just its mainstream movies, but with entertainment media in different sectors like TV shows etc. The company offers hundreds of hours of original, animated content distributed across linear and SVOD platforms in more than 130 countries which will now be under the fingertips of NBCUniversal.
Comcast took legal advise on this matter from Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP and DreamWorks consulted Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP. The latter also heeded financial advise from Centerview Partners.
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.
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.