Comcast Corporation on Thursday announced its acquisition of DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. in a $3.8 billion deal. Comcast said that Dreamworks “will become part of the Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, which includes Universal Pictures, Fandango, and NBC Universal Brand Development.”

Comcast said it expects the deal to pass regulatory muster and take effect by the end of the year.

Wall Street applauded the deal, sending the stock up as much as 24% on Thursday morning.

As reported last night, Illumination’s Chris Meledandri will take charge of Dreamworks Animation’s business.

The deal is reminiscent — albeit on a much smaller scale — to Disney’s 2006 acquisition of Pixar for $7.4 billion. However, both Comcast and DreamWorks are smaller than Disney and Pixar, respectively, but the ambitions are similar.

After the deal Comcast stands on a much stronger footing against rival Walt Disney in the family-entertainment business. Comcast has enjoyed success in recent years with movies like “Despicable Me” and “Minions” but is still a relatively small player as compared to Walt Disney.

“Although Comcast has its own animation arm and may not gain much from acquiring [DreamWork’s] animation division, content owners have become increasingly valuable as of late, and we could argue Comcast sees potential value in the library of franchises and characters that could be integrated further into Universal Studios theme park,” wrote B. Riley analyst of Eric Wold.

Comcast and DWA are still working out details after a whirlwind negotiation that became more urgent Tuesday night when word of the talks leaked. This morning the companies put out a simple press release without a conference call to brief Wall Street or extensive SEC filings providing financial details.

 

 

 

 

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