Comcast in Talks to Buy Dreamworks Animation for More Than $3 Billion

Comcast in Talks to Buy Dreamworks Animation for More Than $3 Billion
Image credit: DreamWorks Studios

Comcast Corp., the largest U.S. cable operator, is in talks to buy Hollywood studio owner DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. for more than $3 billion, The Wall street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

It was not immediately clear what a deal would mean for DreamWorks Chief Executive Jeffrey Katzenberg, the Journal said.

DreamWorks spokesman Dan Berger declined to comment, while Comcast was not immediately available for comment outside regular U.S. business hours.

An acquisition of DreamWorks by Comcast will bring a breath of fresh air for the company that has held several unsuccessful buyout talks in the past.

In September 2014, DreamWorks was reported to be in talks about a possible sale to cash-rich Japanese communications and media company Softbank Corp.

A few months later, in November, Hasbro Inc. was said to be in early talks to buy the maker of the Shrek and Kung Fu Panda franchises. The talks formally ended a few days later after the toy company's board voted to walk away.

More recently the Glendale, Calif.-based DreamWorks has held discussions with potential buyers in China, the Journal reported citing people close to the company.

Dreamworks Animation was spun off from DreamWorks Studios in 2004 as a separate listed company.

The earlier DreamWorks Studios was founded in 1994 by Steven Spielberg, David Geffen and Jeffrey Katzenberg, who moved with the spin-off and remains chief executive of the animation company.

DreamWorks, which is in the middle of a turnaround, has been reducing its dependence on the volatile feature films business to concentrate on increasing revenue from licensing its original content to media houses and video-streaming companies such as Netflix Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc.'s Go90.

Shares of DreamWorks, which has a market cap of $2.35 billion, closed at $27.12, on Tuesday, while Comcast ended at $61.05.

(Reporting by Subrat Patnaik in Bengaluru; Editing by Leslie Adler and Gopakumar Warrier)

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