After years of searching for a buyer, Dreamworks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg may have finally found one for his company: Comcast Corp. News of negotiations between the two companies was first reported tonight by The Wall Street Journal.
Sources familiar with the talks said that Comcast could potentially pay more than $3 billion for the animation studio. While that amount represents a significant premium over Dreamworks’ current $2.35 billion market valuation, it is less than what both Softbank and Hasbro offered to pay for the company back in 2014. It’s also less than the $4 billion that Disney paid for Lucasfilm and Marvel each, and far less than the $7.4 billion Disney paid for Pixar.
The entertainment and cable conglomerate Comcast already has a robust feature animation program through its ownership of Universal Pictures. Universal is the parent company of Chris Meledandri’s Illumination Entertainment, which makes the Despicable Me films, as well as the upcoming Secret Life of Pets. Universal also serves as the international distributor of Laika’s stop motion films, including The Boxtrolls and the upcoming Kubo and the Two Strings.