NBCU Closes DreamWorks Animation Purchase, New Leadership in Place


NEW YORK: NBCUniversal has finalized its acquisition of DreamWorks Animation (DWA), which will now be folded into the Universal Filmed Entertainment Group.

The transaction, worth approximately $3.8 billion, sees DWA stockholders receiving $41 in cash for each share of common stock. DWA CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg is said to be walking away with $391 million from the deal. Katzenberg will become chairman of DreamWorks new media, which will oversee NBCU’s ownership stakes in Awesomeness TV and NOVA. DreamWorks Animation’s president, Ann Daly, will step down from her post and will serve as an advisor during the transition.

As part of the Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, the studio sits alongside Universal Pictures, Fandango and NBCUniversal Brand Development. A new structure has been put in place accordingly.

The DreamWorks feature animation group will be added to Universal’s portfolio of film labels and production partners and will be run by co-presidents of feature animation, Bonnie Arnold and Mireille Soria, under the leadership of Universal Pictures Chairman Donna Langley.

Margie Cohn, the head of animation TV, will lead the integrated DreamWorks and Universal television animation business, reporting to Universal Filmed Entertainment Group Chairman Jeff Shell.

NBCUniversal’s brand development president, Vince Klaseus, will lead the combined Universal and DreamWorks Animation games, digital and consumer products organization, reporting to Shell.

Corporate functions, as well as marketing and distribution, will be fully aligned with the NBCUniversal structure.

“The DreamWorks Animation brand brings with it a cachet that few family-entertainment companies can match,” commented Ron Meyer, the vice chairman of NBCUniversal, Shell and Langley. “As we integrate its operations into Universal Filmed Entertainment, we are confident the first-class team we’ve put in place to lead various segments will build on that great tradition of success across film, television and related businesses.”