Comcast’s NBCUniversal to buy DreamWorks Animation
Comcast’s NBCUniversal has confirmed it has lined up a $3.8bn (£2.6bn) deal to buy DreamWorks Animation, maker of hits from Shrek to Kung Fu Panda, to create a formidable rival to Disney, Theguardian reports.
The deal will see DreamWorks Animation come under the same roof as NBCUniversal-owned Illumination Entertainment, maker of the hugely profitable including Despicable Me and spin-off Minions, creating an animation studio to challenge Disney and its Pixar operation.
Pixar’s impressive range of animated hits include Toy Story, Finding Nemo, Cars, The Incredibles and Inside Out.
The deal, a healthy premium on DreamWorks Animation’s $2.3bn stock market valuation, is expected to close by the end of the year subject to clearance by competition regulators.
“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,” said Jeffrey Katzenberg, chief executive and co-founder of DreamWorks Animation. “A home that will embrace the legacy of our storytelling and grow our businesses to their fullest potential.”
DreamWorks Animation spun off in 2004 from DreamWorks SKG, an entertainment company founded in 1994 by Katzenberg. Steven Spielberg and David Geffen.