NBCUniversal announced today that it is acquiring DreamWorks Animation and will become part of the Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, which includes Universal Pictures, Fandango, and NBCUniversal Brand Development.
“DreamWorks Animation is a great addition to NBCUniversal,” said Steve Burke, CEO of NBCUniversal. “Jeffrey Katzenberg and the DreamWorks organization have created a dynamic film brand and a deep library of intellectual property.”
Under the terms of the agreement, DreamWorks Animation has an equity value of approximately $3.8 billion. DreamWorks Animation stockholders will receive $41 in cash for each share of DreamWorks Animation common stock.
The transaction is expected to close by the end of 2016, subject to receipt of antitrust approvals in the U.S. and abroad, as well as the satisfaction of other customary closing conditions.
What does this mean for Universal theme park? It means that Universal Creative has full and direct access to such films as Shrek, Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda and How to Train Your Dragon. No specific theme park has ever had exclusive rights to DreamWorks films, which is why there are several attractions at various theme parks based on DreamWorks films, including Europe, Dubai and of course, Orlando.
With the theme park wars at an all-time high, this acquisition for Universal is a huge step in expanding the portfolio that Universal Creative can expand upon. The most recent partnership that Universal announced was with Nintendo, back in May of last year.
With Disney purchasing such names as Marvel and Star Wars over the last few years, this purchase by NBCUniversal shows that the theme park wars are about to get very interesting, especially with talks of Universal eyeing a third theme park on that newly purchased 475 acres of land in Orlando.