The all-cash deal will give $41 in cash for each share of DreamWorks Animation stock. The transaction is expected to close by the end of 2016, subject to federal antitrust considerations. DreamWorks stock was up a big 25% in early Thursday trading to $40.
Jeffrey Katzenberg, CEO/co-founder of DreamWorks Animation, will become chairman of DreamWorks New Media, which will include digital video producer Awesomeness TV and NOVA. Katzenberg will also serve as a consultant to NBCUniversal.
When details of the possible deal arose, analysts believed the unit could be combined with NBCUniversal’s Universal Studios.
Over the last two decades, DreamWorks has produced big animated film franchises, including “Shrek,” “Madagascar,” “Kung Fu Panda” and “How to Train Your Dragon.”
Steve Burke, CEO of NBCUniversal, stated: “We have enjoyed extraordinary success over the last six years in animation with the emergence of Illumination Entertainment.” He says DreamWorks will add to this effort.
Katzenberg added: “This agreement not only delivers significant value for our shareholders, but also supports NBCUniversal’s growing family entertainment business."