Comcast to purchase DreamWorks Animation for $3.8 bn

DreamWorks Animation, the studio behind family blockbusters "Kung Fu Panda" and the Oscar-winning "Shrek," is being snapped up by U.S. entertainment and cable giant Comcast in a $3.8 billion deal announced Thursday, April 28, AFP says.

Originally part of the DreamWorks group created in the 1990s by Steven Spielberg, David Geffen and former top Disney executive Jeffrey Katzenberg, the studio was spun off as a separate company in 2004.

"DreamWorks will help us grow our film, television, theme parks and consumer products businesses for years to come," said Steve Burke, chief executive of Comcast unit NBCUniversal.

Under the deal, the animation studio will become part of NBCU's Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, which includes Universal Pictures, AFP says.

Upon completion, the studio's chief executive Katzenberg will become chairman of DreamWorks New Media, which will include some NBCU television operations.

"Having spent the past two decades working together with our team to build DreamWorks Animation into one of the world's most beloved brands, I am proud to say that NBCUniversal is the perfect home for our company; a home that will embrace the legacy of our storytelling and grow our businesses to their fullest potential," said Katzenberg.

The animation studio has released 32 feature films that together have pulled in more than $13 billion in global box office receipts.

Comcast has agreed to pay $41 a share in the deal, which has been approved by the boards of both companies and is expected to close later this year, subject to regulatory approvals.