NBCUniversal completes purchase of DreamWorks Animation; Katzenberg payday tops $390 million

Jeffrey Katzenberg
Jeffrey Katzenberg, who was chief executive of DreamWorks Animation, now has a new mysterious venture called WndrCo.
(David McNew / AFP Getty)

NBCUniversal has completed its $3.8-billion acquisition of DreamWorks Animation, a blockbuster deal that alters the face of Hollywood and accelerates the pace of consolidation in the media industry.

Jeffrey Katzenberg, chief executive of the boutique studio behind such animated hits as “Kung Fu Panda” and “Shrek,” officially segued into a new role as a consultant to Comcast Corp., which is the parent company of NBCUniversal.

Katzenberg exits the Glendale studio he founded with a significant payday. The mogul held 10.2 million shares of DreamWorks stock, which combined was worth roughly $391.6 million, according to a regulatory filing.

Monday was the final day that DreamWorks’ shares traded on the Nasdaq stock exchange, according to another regulatory filing.


Now, another Jeff is in charge: Jeff Shell, chairman of Universal Filmed Entertainment Group.

Shell now will oversee DreamWorks Animation, which becomes part of his business unit that includes movie studio Universal Pictures, online ticket service Fandango and NBCUniversal Brand Development.

DreamWorks’ board of directors also was disbanded. 

Four other senior DreamWorks executives — Ann Daly, president; Fazal Merchant, chief financial officer; Steven Adams, chief accounting officer; and Andrew Chang, general counsel, no longer serve in their most recent capacities, the filing said.


Stockholders will receive $41 in cash for each share of DreamWorks common stock. Comcast unveiled the acquisition of DreamWorks Animation in late April. 

Comcast added that on Sept. 21, DreamWorks would redeem the full $300-million aggregate principal amount outstanding on its senior notes that were due in August  2020.

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7:30 p.m. This article was updated to include the value of the stock held by former DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg.

This article was first published at 3:50 p.m.


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