By Barry Janoff
April 28, 2016: Shrek, The Penguins, Po, Monsters, Aliens and a host of others now work for NBCUniversal.
Calling it a move that would give it access to a broader-reaching audience in the highly competitive kids and family film and TV entertainment space, NBCUniversal has acquired DreamWorks Animation, home to such franchises as Shrek, Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda, How to Train Your Dragon, Monsters vs. Aliens and The Croods.
Under terms of the agreement, DreamWorks Animation has an equity value of approximately $3.8 billion. DreamWorks Animation stockholders will receive $41 in cash for each share of DreamWorks Animation common stock.
DreamWorks Animation creates animated feature films,TV series and specials, live entertainment and related consumer products. The studio will become part of the Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, which includes Universal Pictures, Fandango, and NBCUniversal Brand Development.
The company dates back to October 1994, when director and producer Steven Spielberg (still a principle partner), music executive David Geffen and former Disney exec Jeffrey Katzenberg founded DreamWorks SKG.
Following the completion of the transaction, Katzenberg will become chairman of DreamWorks New Media, which will be comprised of the company’s ownership interests in Awesomeness TV and NOVA. Katzenberg will also serve as a consultant to NBCUniversal.
“DreamWorks Animation is a great addition to NBCUniversal,” Steve Burke, CEO for NBCUniversal, said in a statement. “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," said Burke.
DreamWorks currently has a bevy of films and TV series either set for release or in production, including Boss Baby, Captain Underpants, The Croods 2, Madagascar 4, Larrikins and How to Train Your Dragon 3.
In addition, DreamWorks' TV operation supplies hundreds of hours of original, animated content distributed across linear and SVOD platforms in more than 130 countries.
DreamWorks Classics has a large library of classic characters that will become part of the NBCUniversal portfolio, as well as a consumer products business.
According to Katzenberg, “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.
"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 . . . ," said Katzenberg.
The agreement has been approved by the boards of directors of DreamWorks Animation and Comcast, and the controlling shareholder of DreamWorks Animation has approved the agreement by written consent.
The transaction is expected to close by the end of 2016, subject to receipt of antitrust approvals in the U.S. and abroad, as well as the satisfaction of other customary closing conditions.
Back to Home Page