NBCUniversal Buys DreamWorks Animation for US$3.8 Billion
What: NBCUniversal, a division of Comcast Corporation, has announced the acquisition of DreamWorks Animation for US$3.8 billion.
Why it matters: Following the completition of the transaction, expected to close by the end of 2016, DreamWorks Animation become part of the Universal Filmed Entertainment Group and DreamWorks Animation CEO and co-founder Jeffrey Katzenberg will become Chairman of DreamWorks New Media.
NBCUniversal, a division of Comcast Corporation, has announced the acquisition of DreamWorks Animation.The studio will become part of the Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, which includes Universal Pictures, Fandango, and NBCUniversal Brand Development.
Under the terms of the agreement, DreamWorks Animation has an equity value of approximately US$3.8 billion. DreamWorks Animation stockholders will receive US$41 in cash for each share of DreamWorks Animation common stock. 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 antitrust approvals in the U.S. and abroad, as well as the satisfaction of other customary closing conditions.
Following the completion of the transaction, 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.
DreamWorks Animation creates animated feature films, television series and specials, live entertainment and related consumer products.
DreamWorks Animation has an equity value of approximately US$3.8 billion
The acquisition gives NBCUniversal broader reach to a host of new audiences in the highly competitive kids and family entertainment space, in both TV and film. It includes popular DreamWorks Animation film franchise properties, such as Shrek,Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda and How to Train Your Dragon. It also includes a thriving TV operation that is a significant supplier of family programming, with hundreds of hours of original, animated content distributed across linear and SVOD platforms in more than 130 countries. Additionally, DreamWorks Classics, a large library of classic characters, will become part of the NBCUniversal portfolio, along with a successful consumer products business.
Comcast was advised by Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP on legal matters. DreamWorks Animation was advised on financial matters by Centerview Partners and on legal matters by Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP. DreamWorks Animation's Board of Directors was advised on legal matters by Munger Tolles & Olson LLP.
"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."
"DreamWorks Animation is a great addition to NBCUniversal," said Steve Burke, CEO of NBCUniversal. "DreamWorks will help us grow our film, television, theme parks and consumer products businesses for years to come. 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."