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.