In a move that will presumably help NBCUniversal score even more money from parents with screaming children, DreamWorks Animation has been acquired by Comcast in a deal worth $3.8 billion. The animation studio founded by David Geffen, Jeffrey Katzenberg, and Steven Spielberg (above, L-R) will join the Universal Filmed Entertainment Group by the end of 2016, so long as no funny business is discovered by the government, and DreamWorks shareholders will receive $41 in cash per share, according to the press release, so everyone wins, it seems.
And because the boards of directors for both DreamWorks and Comcast have approved the deal, it’s time for the top people involved to say really nice things about everything they’ve accomplished.
“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.”
Katzenberg will shift from his current gig as the CEO of DreamWorks to the Chairman of DreamWorks New Media, while also acting as a consultant. He said some really nice things about the deal, as well.
“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.”
As for what this acquisition means for Universal’s current relationship with Illumination Entertainment, Chris Meledandri will soon be much busier. When the deal is completed, Meledandri will oversee both Illumination and DreamWorks, having “wide latitude in how both units will be run,” according to the Los Angeles Times.
This is also big news for NBCUniversal’s theme parks, as the deal opens the door for Shrek and other beloved characters to find new homes at Universal’s various parks and resorts around the world. Still, it’s Comcast, so expect the lines to be long and customer service to be lacking.