Japanese telecommunications giant SoftBank is in talks to acquire DreamWorks Animation SKG, the studio responsible for hit franchises such as Shrek, Monsters vs. Aliens and How to Train Your Dragon according to a report from The Hollywood Reporter.
A source with knowledge of the situation said the DreamWorks Animation board held an emergency meeting this past Thursday to consider a deal that would value the company at $3.4 billion. Specifically, SoftBank is said to have offered $32 a share, a significant premium over the $22 the stock closed at on Friday.
As part of the deal, DreamWorks Animation founder and CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg would sign a contract that would see him continue to work with the company for the next five years.
SoftBank has been in the news quite a bit lately. The company toyed with the idea of buying T-Mobile and combining it with Sprint in an effort to better compete with industry heavyweights AT&T and Verizon but reportedly decided against it over concerns regarding regulatory approval.
SoftBank is in a better position now more than ever to acquire DreamWorks Animation following Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba’s recent IPO. Softbank invested $20 million and owns a 32 percent stake in the company, a return that’s now worth a minimum of $60 billion.
No word yet on how close a deal might be although The Wall Street Journal reported hearing pretty much the same thing from one of its sources.