SunTrust buys DreamWorks Animation property

People walk past the entrance to DreamWorks Animation's studio in Glendale, Calif. DreamWorks has signed a deal to sell and lease back the studio property.
(Nick Ut / Associated Press)

An investment arm of SunTrust Banks Inc. has acquired DreamWorks Animation’s plush, Tuscany-style campus in Glendale.

In a regulatory filing on Thursday, DreamWorks Animation disclosed that SunTrust Equity Funding had signed an agreement earlier this week to purchase the DreamWorks campus for $185 million.

The sale includes 10 buildings on about 15 acres of land, which was developed two decades ago and is dotted with olive trees, oaks and a koi pond.

DreamWorks isn’t exiting the property, however. Instead, the studio behind the “Shrek” movies will lease the property from SunTrust Equity Funding, a subsidiary of the bank holding company based in Atlanta.

Under the lease agreement, DreamWorks will pay about $13 million a year over 20 years to SunTrust.


The Glendale company on Tuesday said it was selling the property, but did not disclose the buyer.

The sale is part of a series of cost-cutting steps at DreamWorks, which has overhauled management and announced plans to cut 500 jobs following a series of box-office flops.

The studio also refinanced a loan agreement with JPMorgan Chase to extend its line of credit to $450 million, up from $400 million.

DreamWorks posted a loss of $263.2 million in the fourth quarter due to restructuring costs and impairment charges from its recent film releases.

Twitter: @rverrier