Comcast is in talks to acquire DreamWorks Animation for $3+ billion, according to The Wall Street Journal. DreamWorks Animation currently has a $2.3 billion market value. According to WSJ, DreamWorks Animation has been in talks with several suitors in the past years including Hasbro, 20th Century Fox, and Japanese telecommunications company SoftBank.
DreamWorks Animation is best known for its movie franchises Shrek, Kung Fu Panda and Madagascar. The California-based company currently has a distribution deal with 20th Century Fox, with it up for renewal in 2017. Former sister company DreamWorks Studios - now titled Amblin Partners - signed a distribution deal with Universal (a Comcast subsidiary) earlier this year.
DreamWorks Animation also has several interests in the comics industry. In addition to licensed titles through outside companies such as IDW Publishing and Dynamite Entertainment, in 2014 the studio launched its own imprint, DreamWorks Press. DreamWorks Animation also owns the rights to classic comic and animation titles including Casper the Friendly Ghost, Rocky & Bullwinkle, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and Gold Key characters such as Magnus Robot Fighter, Doctor Solar, and Turok.
Originally a cable company, Comcast currently owns key media properties NBC, Telemundo, the USA Network, and Univeral Studios, as well as the animation studio behind Minions, Illumination Entertainment. In addition to its movie franchises, DreamWorks also produces 19 different animated television shows which could easily compliment the various channels in Comcast's portfolio.
DreamWorks Animation was launched in 1997 as a division of DreamWorks SKG, a production company foundedby Katzenberg, Steven Spielberg and David Geffen. DreamWorks Animation was spun off as a seperate company in 2004.