Saturday, February 14, 2009

DreamWorks Animation's Bankroller Bows Out

One of the big players that helped launch DreamWorks back in the heady, boom-boom nineties -- has carried the last of his DWA chips to the cashiers window:

Paul Allen, [co-founder of Microsoft] has cashed out of DreamWorks Animation, the latest move in the billionaire's reshuffling of his media assets.

According to a regulatory filing, Allen had no stake in DWA as of Dec. 31, whereas he owned more than 18% of the company a year before ...

As for Allen, he is ending an equity arrangement with DreamWorks that began with its launch in 1994 with $500 million of Allen's money along with $100 million combined from Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen.

One reason DWA was carved out of the live-action studio and taken public was in order to allow Allen a more lucrative and efficient way to reap the benefits of his investment.

In this time of turmoil and trouble, it's nice to see somebody actually make a profit on an equity deal.

Of course, Mr. Allen would likely have made more money if he had exited before the big meltdown. Happily, he still has several billion dollars to see him through the current tough times.

It's good to know he has a cushion.


Anonymous said...

so what does this mean for dreamworks animation?

Anonymous said...

I’ll never understand why this guy is so quick to pull out especially when you consider he got his original investment and then some when DreamWorks live-action was sold to Paramount. His investment in DreamWorks Animation was free money and still he wants to pull out and yet he puts in all kinds of cash (7 billion) in Charter Communication and it goes belly up. I have to say I’m not impressed with this fellow’s investment style.

I think Katzenberg and company will be happy to be rid of this guy.

Floyd Norman said...

What would you expect? Paul Allen and Bill Gates are the founders of software giant, MicroSoft.

And, in my opinion their products kinda suck.

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