Dreamworks Animation SKG IncNASDAQ
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  • Tue, Aug. 23, 1:29 PM
    • With its $3.8B acquisition deal closed, NBCUniversal (CMCSA -1.6%) has set details for its integration of DreamWorks Animation (NASDAQ:DWA).
    • DreamWorks' feature animation group will be run by co-presidents of Feature Animation Bonnie Arnold and Mireille Soria, execs that DWA chief Jeffrey Katzenberg boosted in February to refocus the studio's output. They'll report to Universal Pictures Chairman Donna Langley; Margie Cohn will lead a combined DreamWorks and Universal TV animation business.
    • Combined Universal/DreamWorks games, digital and consumer products will be led by NBCUniversal Brand Development President Vince Klaseus.
    • As expected, Katzenberg will become Chairman of DreamWorks New Media, overseeing the company's shares in AwesomenessTV and NOVA. He walks away with a cash-out package of a whopping $391M, on the strength of 10.2M shares and options in the studio.
    | Tue, Aug. 23, 1:29 PM | 6 Comments
  • Mon, Aug. 22, 6:37 PM
    • NBCUniversal (CMCSA +0.2%) has closed on its $3.8B acquisition of DreamWorks Animation (NASDAQ:DWA).
    • As planned, the studio will be folded into Universal's Filmed Entertainment Group, where it joins Universal Pictures, Fandango, and NBCUniversal Brand Development.
    • Holders of DWA get $41 in cash for each share.
    • DWA will be delisted from Nasdaq, and the studio will redeem its $300M outstanding in 6.875% senior notes, redeeming them at 105.156% of principal amount plus accrued and unpaid interest.
    • Shares jumped in April on news of the deal and have gained 59% YTD.
    | Mon, Aug. 22, 6:37 PM | 1 Comment
  • Tue, Jun. 28, 1:52 PM
    • Jeffrey Katzenberg, CEO of DreamWorks Animation (NASDAQ:DWA), is the target of a class-action suit saying he's benefited handsomely from a lucrative side deal tied to the studio's $3.8B takeover by Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA).
    • Shareholder Ann Arbor City Employees Retirement System says Katzenberg breached a duty to minority shareholders in taking a consulting deal where he takes just $1 in annual salary -- but 7% off profits from DreamWorks New Media (where he'll be chairman), in perpetuity.
    • Had Katzenberg not gotten that deal, the plaintiffs say, "Comcast would have been required to increase the merger price to secure Katzenberg's support."
    • Comcast agreed to pay $41/share in cash in the deal, and Katzenberg voting his controlled stock in favor assured approval for the transaction.
    | Tue, Jun. 28, 1:52 PM | 1 Comment
  • Wed, Jun. 15, 8:37 AM
    • Shari Redstone, has been in direct contact with Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) founder Jack Ma in connection to a sale of Paramount Pictures, sources told the NY Post.
    • Meanwhile, National Amusements - Viacom's (VIA, VIAB) controlling shareholder - has started talks with investment banks about the Paramount sales process to gather more information about a potential deal.
    • Viacom had hoped to use the proceeds from the expected $7B sale of 49% of the studio to pay down debt and perhaps boost its share price by $10.
    • Sources also said the Redstones have reached out through back channels to DreamWorks (NASDAQ:DWA) CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg to see if he has an interest in running Viacom.
    | Wed, Jun. 15, 8:37 AM | 12 Comments
  • Tue, May 10, 1:35 PM
    • If it seems like NBCUniversal (CMCSA +1.6%) moved quickly from rumor to inked deal on its scquisition of DreamWorks Animation (DWA +0.3%), it's because there really was a race, against yet another Chinese investor in U.S. entertainment.
    • PAG Asia Capital was the mystery bidder for the studio, The Wall Street Journal reports. But Comcast's premium won the day.
    • Comcast agreed to pay $3.8B for DreamWorks Animation, or $41/share in cash. DWA has since traded up to $40/share.
    • PAG has $15B under management and last month agreed to go in with Apex Technology on a purchase of Lexmark. Meanwhile, over the past year Chinese firms have bought into U.S. theatrical exhibitions and film studios as well as kicking the tires on a minority stake in Paramount Pictures.
    • Now read Merger Arbitrage Opportunity: Comcast To Buy DreamWorks »
    | Tue, May 10, 1:35 PM | 5 Comments
  • Thu, Apr. 28, 10:00 AM
    • DreamWorks Animation (NASDAQ:DWA) has resumed trading up 24.2% -- hitting its highest level since 2010 -- after a halt tied to its $3.8B acquisition deal with NBCUniversal.
    • NBCU parent Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) is off 0.4% after making the very Disney-like move. Speculation yesterday had turned to Comcast's interest in DWA focusing on what it could do for theme parks and consumer products rather than the film slate itself.
    • DreamWorks Animation will join Universal Pictures, Fandango, and NBCU Brand Development in Comcast's Universal Filmed Entertainment Group.
    • Comcast notes it gets a broader reach toward a "host of new audiences in the highly competitive kids and family entertainment space," with properties including Shrek, Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda and How to Train Your Dragon, as well as a family-oriented TV operation and a library of classic characters including Where's Waldo and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
    • Previously: DreamWorks Animation jumps 18% on $3B Comcast M&A reports (Apr. 27 2016)
    • Previously: WSJ: Comcast in talks for $3B-plus acquisition of DreamWorks Animation (Apr. 26 2016)
    | Thu, Apr. 28, 10:00 AM | 4 Comments
  • Thu, Apr. 28, 9:14 AM
    • Coming quickly after the early reports, NBCUniversal (NASDAQ:CMCSA) is acquiring DreamWorks Animation (NASDAQ:DWA) for $41/share in cash, a 27% premium over yesterday's already boosted DWA price of $32.20.
    • That comes to $3.8B total. Shares in DWA were up 0.6% premarket and are currently halted. They'll resume trading at 9:50 a.m. ET.
    • DreamWorks Animation will become part of Universal Pictures' Filmed Entertainment Group in the deal, which has been approved by both companies' boards as well as the controlling shareholder at DWA.
    • After closing, DWA CEO and co-founder Jeffrey Katzenberg will become chairman of DreamWorks New Media (AwesomenessTV and NOVA) and act as consultant to NBCUniversal.
    • The transaction is expected to close by the end of the year.
    • Previously: Comcast focus in any DreamWorks Animation talks: Parks, products (Apr. 27 2016)
    | Thu, Apr. 28, 9:14 AM | 6 Comments
  • Wed, Apr. 27, 6:58 PM
    • Acquisition talks between suitor Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) and target DreamWorks Animation (NASDAQ:DWA) may not be so much about the on-screen panda as the parks and products.
    • Sources tell The Wall Street Journal that discussions for a potential $3B-plus purchase of the studio by Comcast is about everything but the movies -- a chance to help feed consumer products and the Universal theme parks.
    • DreamWorks Animation jumped 18.7% today to an easy new 52-week high off last night's reports, ending the day around a $2.78B market cap. Comcast, meanwhile, was up 0.4% following its earnings beat today.
    • Also, while his fate was undetermined in earlier reports, DreamWorks chief Jeffrey Katzenberg would depart in the event of a consummated transaction, the people said. That suggests that contrary to early reports, DWA wouldn't survive in its current form but might be broken up and subsumed inside the Comcast units.
    • A sale would also likely mean cutbacks in DWA's slate and spending plans.
    • Previously: DreamWorks Animation jumps 18% on $3B Comcast M&A reports (Apr. 27 2016)
    • Now read DreamWorks Animation »
    | Wed, Apr. 27, 6:58 PM | 8 Comments
  • Wed, Apr. 27, 10:04 AM
    • DreamWorks Animation (NASDAQ:DWA) is up 18.3% after last night's news that Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) was kicking tires on a possible $3B-plus acquisition of the studio.
    • Comcast didn't respond to questions on today's earnings call about the reports.
    • The move could add significantly to Comcast's stable of family-friendly offerings, making it a bigger rival to Disney. Its Universal Pictures studio already runs Illumination Entertainment, which makes the Despicable Me movies (including Minions, a runaway spinoff hit last year that grossed a whopping $1.16B worldwide).
    • And its entertainment products are fueling a growing theme park business, boosted most recently with the Hollywood opening of a Harry Potter attraction.
    • A source told the WSJ that in any acquisition, Illumination and DreamWorks Animation would stay separate brands, which could affect the fate of DWA head Jeffrey Katzenberg, a longtime studio exec (and who controls about 60% of DWA voting stock). He's due $21.9M if the company's sold and he leaves.
    • Now read Why Dreamworks Should Never Make An R-Rated Movie »
    | Wed, Apr. 27, 10:04 AM | 6 Comments
  • Tue, Apr. 26, 9:20 PM
    • Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) is in discussions for an acquisition of DreamWorks Animation (NASDAQ:DWA) that would amount to more than $3B, The Wall Street Journal is reporting.
    • Any deal would likely result in a merger of DWA operations with Comcast's Universal Pictures, which already operates Illumination Entertainment (animator of the Despicable Me movies).
    • DreamWorks Animation closed down 0.1% today, at a market cap of about $2.34B, and finished the postmarket session unchanged. Comcast, which gained 0.1% during the regular session, finished up 1.5% postmarket.
    • Now read DreamWorks Animation »
    | Tue, Apr. 26, 9:20 PM | 15 Comments
  • Wed, Apr. 6, 9:04 AM
    • Verizon (NYSE:VZ) is buying into AwesomenessTV with a minority stake that promises a big mobile video push for the youth-focused content brand.
    • DreamWorks Animation (NASDAQ:DWA) will remain the majority shareholder with 51% of AwesomenessTV, now valued at about $650M by Verizon's move. Verizon will take about a 24.5% stake, equivalent to other minority partner Hearst.
    • It's not just an equity deal, as Verizon wants to bring its Go90 video-service experience to bear in helping AwesomenessTV build a "first of its kind" branded video service with premium transactional content. The new premium service will be exclusive to Verizon platforms in the U.S. with AwesomenessTV holding rights to sell its content elsewhere.
    • AwesomenessTV's founder and CEO Brian Robbins will continue to lead the company along with President Brett Bouttier.
    • The transaction should close within the next 60 days. Verizon is off 0.8% premarket.
    • Now read Is It Time To Take Profits From Verizon Communications? »
    | Wed, Apr. 6, 9:04 AM | 2 Comments
  • Tue, Mar. 1, 2:22 PM
    • With troubled Viacom (VIA +1%, VIAB +1.1%) looking for a minority partner for its Paramount Pictures film business, Jeffrey Katzenberg -- chief of DreamWorks Animation (DWA +0.9%) -- says he "fantasizes" about a merger with Paramount.
    • While he knows that Paramount isn't looking for a full marriage, he told the Morgan Stanley investor conference attendees that television has become his studio's most important segment. DWA has 19 animated shows in production and live action on the way, with a library of "extremely high margin, very, very valuable TV."
    • "It's our most profitable asset ... I think today is the first time I said it, actually," Katzenberg said.
    • Viacom's TV business has struggled with poor ratings over the past year, a time in which shares have fallen 47%.
    • Katzenberg also said the company was taking advantage of a valuable brand by getting into location-based entertainment: experiences on cruise ships and hotels, and a planned set of mini-theme parks.
    • Previously: SpringOwl's Jackson: Viacom should spin Paramount to tracking stock (Feb. 26 2016)
    • Previously: Paramount's likely suitors: Foreign firms, domestic tech (Feb. 24 2016)
    | Tue, Mar. 1, 2:22 PM | 2 Comments
  • Dec. 31, 2014, 8:42 AM
    • Streaming: Sony (NYSE:SNE), HBO (NYSE:TWX), CBS (NYSE:CBS), and Dish Networks (NASDAQ:DISH) are set to unveil streaming products in 2015. The theory of the companies that the skinny bundles will draw in more cord-cutters and cord-nevers than they will cannibalize current pay-TV subscribers will be put to the test. The rush of streaming options could help or hurt Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) depending upon which analysis an investor leans on.
    • Theater traffic rebound: Exhibitors (CNK, RGC, AMC, CKEC, IMAX) and movie studios (LGF, VIA, VIAB, DIS, FOXA, CMCSA, TWX) maintain that the decline in theater attendance in 2014 (-6%) was due to a slate of films light on blockbusters. A bounce is forecast for 2015 with high-profile films such as Avengers: The Age of Ultron, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2, Fifty Shades of Grey, Jurassic World, Spectre (James Bond), and Mission Impossible 5 all set to premiere - along with the reboot of the Star Wars franchise in December. Capex spending on theater upgrades could also help boost in-theater spending and average ticket price for exhibitors.
    • Mergers: If regulators allow the Comcast-Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC) and AT&T-DirecTV (NASDAQ:DTV) mergers to sail through it could clear a path for other media combinations, note analysts. Potential buyers include Alibaba (NYSE:BABA), Wanda Group, Softbank (OTCPK:SFTBY), and a TWX-rebuffed 21st Century Fox (NASDAQ:FOXA). Content producers which could be targets include Starz (NASDAQ:STRZA), Lions Gate (NYSE:LGF), DreamWorks Animation (NASDAQ:DWA), AMC Networks (NASDAQ:AMCX), and Scripps Networks (NYSE:SNI). A split-up Madison Square Garden (NASDAQ:MSG) could also be enticing.
    | Dec. 31, 2014, 8:42 AM | 4 Comments
  • Dec. 11, 2014, 6:07 PM
    • DreamWorks Animation (NASDAQ:DWA) announces it sold a 25% stake in AwesomenessTV to Hearst Corporation for $81.25M.
    • The two companies plan to partner together on growing the YouTube property aimed at teenagers.
    | Dec. 11, 2014, 6:07 PM
  • Nov. 13, 2014, 7:32 AM
    • Shares of DreamWorks Animation (NASDAQ:DWA) soar in early trading on reports that a merger with Hasbro (NASDAQ:HAS) is being negotiated.
    • Early analyst reaction to the combination is favorable due to the potential boost to consumer products sales and content tie-ins between the two companies.
    • Talks between DreamWorks and Softbank over a merger stalled last month when an agreement on a deal price couldn't be hammered out.
    • DWA +21.8% to $27.25 premarket.
    | Nov. 13, 2014, 7:32 AM
  • Nov. 13, 2014, 1:51 AM
    • Hasbro (NASDAQ:HAS) is in advanced talks to buy DreamWorks Animation (NASDAQ:DWA), and would pay a mix of cash and stock under the current terms of the proposed deal.
    • An exact price has not yet been determined, although Jeffrey Katzenberg, the chief executive of DreamWorks Animation, is seeking more than $30 a share, a significant premium over Wednesday's close at $22.37.
    • News of the possible merger comes about six weeks after reports emerged that SoftBank was in talks to acquire the animation studio.
    | Nov. 13, 2014, 1:51 AM