It’s official NBCUniversal/Comcast now owns DreamWorks Animation, ending the company’s independent ownership. The announcement was made today in an official press release by NBCUniversal, which is a division of the Comcast Corporation. The acquisition includes all of DreamWorks Animation’s animated brands, feature films, TV series, specials, live entertainment and related consumer products.
Comcast purchased the company for the value of $3.8 billion. What does this mean for DreamWorks Animation? According to Comcast, the studio will now become part of the Universal Film Entertainment Group, alongside Universal Pictures, Fandango and NBCUniversal Brand Development. This seems to imply that DreamWorks will not completely dissolve and remain some level of autonomy.
Per the official statement, NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke stated the following on the acquisition: “DreamWorks Animation is a great addition to 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.”
DreamWorks Animation stockholders receiver $41 in cash for each share of DWA’s common stock. The acquisition has already been approved by the board of directors of DreamWorks Animation and Comcast. The transaction should be completed by the end of 2016, and it’s also subject to receipt of antitrust approvals in the United States and abroad. DreamWorks Animation CEO and co-founder Jeffrey Katzenberg will move into a new position after the transaction is completed. He will become Chairman of DreamWorks New Media and serve as a consultant for NBCUniversal.
Speaking on the transition, Katzenberg stated: “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.”
Properties that now fall under the NBCUniversal umbrella with the deal include Shrek, Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda and How to Train Your Dragon. It also includes the DreamWorks Classics library of classic characters, which include Where’s Waldo and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.