NBCUniversal, a division of Comcast Corporation, has increased its presence in the family and animation space by acquiring DreamWorks Animation.
One of the world’s best known family brands, DreamWorks Animation, creators of animated films, television series and specials, live entertainment and related consumer products, is to become a division of the Universal Filmed Entertainment Group.
"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, ” he continued.
Under the terms of the agreement, DreamWorks Animation has an equity value of approximately $3.8 billion, therefore stockholders will receive $41 in cash for each share they own. The transaction is expected to close by the end of 2016.
DreamWorks Animation CEO and co-founder Jeffrey 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.
"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, " said Katzenberg.
"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, ” he added.
The acquisition gives NBCUniversal access to new audiences in the highly competitive kids and family entertainment space. Popular franchise properties such as Shrek, Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda and How to Train Your Dragon, as well as DreamWorks Classic Library including Where's Waldo, and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, will become part of the NBCUniversal Portfolio, along with a successful consumer products business. This is in addition to a thriving TV operation with hundreds of hours of original, animated content distributed in more than 130 countries.