NBCUniversal announced this morning it will buy DreamWorks Animation in a deal valued at $3.8 billion.
As part of the agreement, which came together with surprising speed, DreamWorks Animation shareholders will receive $41 in cash for each share of common stock. The deal will see the studio become a unit of the Universal Filmed Entertainment group, which includes Universal Pictures, Fandango and NBCUniversal Brand Development.
Founded by Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen, the animated division of DreamWorks SKG is known for such hit franchises as "Shrek," "Madagascar," "How to Train Your Dragon" and "Kung Fu Panda." Katzenberg, who served as CEO, will become chairman of DreamWorks New Media, comprised of the company’s ownership interests in Awesomeness TV and NOVA. He'll also serve as a consultant to NBCUniversal.
"DreamWorks Animation is a great addition to NBCUniversal," Steve Burke, CEO of NBCUniversal, said in a statement. "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."
Illumination Entertainment founder Chris Meledandri, whose company is behind the hit "Despicable Me" franchise, "will help guide the growth of the DreamWorks Animation business in the future," according to the press release from NBCUniversal parent Comcast.