DreamWorks Animation and Hasbro are in talks to combine forces. Under the potential deal, the toymaking giant would pay about $35 a share for DreamWorks Animation, with DWA chief Jeffrey Katzenberg becoming chairman of the combined “DreamWorks-Hasbro.” [Variety]
Under pressure to diversify, Katzeberg is looking to boost the bottomline of the publicly-held company, whose slate of animated family films from “Rise of the Guardians” to “Turbo” and “Mr. Peabody and Sherman” continues to disappoint at the box office. “Mr. Peabody” alone sparked a $57 write-down for DWA, which shifted gears earlier this year by acquiring “Felix the Cat” and partnering with Netflix on 1,000 episodes of original animated programming.
But one monkey wrench to consider in this potential merger is DreamWorks Animation competitor Disney’s deep ties to Hasbro, which licenses several money-making Disney properties including Star Wars/Lucasfilm, Marvel and the Disney Princess line. If the merger pans out, it’s likely that Disney would pull those properties—why fuel the competition?
Deadline reports that DreamWorks may also sell a stake of its online reality video channel AwesomenessTV to Heart Publishing for upwards of a whopping $81 million.