The US cable giant Comcast is one step closer to becoming the next Disney.
The media conglomerate said on Thursday (Apr. 28) that it will buy DreamWorks Animation, the studio behind Shrek and Kung Fu Panda, for $41 per share. The deal, which is valued at $3.8 billion, strengthens the cable operator’s footing in the thriving family-entertainment space.
News of talks between the two companies (paywall) broke on Wednesday. Shares of DreamWorks Animation jumped during pre-market trading and closed 18% higher than the prior day’s close, at $32.20. At the time of this writing, shares were up 24%, while Comcast shares were flat.
DreamWorks Animation’s chief executive, Jeffrey Katzenberg, an industry veteran, has reportedly been shopping the studio for years. It’s one of the last remaining independent shops in Hollywood, after being spun off from DreamWorks—an entertainment venture by Katzenberg, Steven Spielberg, and David Geffen—in 2004. It has since survived on sporadic hits like Madagascar.
With the acquisition, DreamWorks Animation joins Comcast’s Universal Pictures, the studio behind beloved animated films such as Despicable Me and Minions. Comcast is leveraging these properties, like its larger rival Disney, to build out its growing theme park and consumer products businesses around the world.