In a stunning shake-up of animation studios, NBCUniversal has picked up DreamWorks Animation for 3.8 billion dollars, in a deal announced April 28th. Comcast- the parent company of NBCUniversal- says that Dreamworks “will become part of the Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, which includes Universal Pictures, Fandango, and NBCUniversal Brand Development.” The deal is expected to close by the end of 2016. DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeff Katzenberg will remain at DreamWorks as the chairman of DreamWorks New Media.
NBCUniversal’s current animation product is supplied by Illumination Entertainment, which was founded by Chris Meledandri in 2007 after he left his position as President of 20th Century Fox Animation. Meledandri will take charge of Dreamworks Animation when it comes on board at Universal.
In a statement, NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke said, “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.”
DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeff Katzenberg promised the deal would “delivers significant value for our shareholders.”