Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Still Dealing?

The Reporter of Hollywood tells us:

... It's still not clear what killed the SoftBank acquisition of DWA, which multiple sources believe was well along when THR revealed the talks Sept. 27. Sources say DWA CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg had made an unsuccessful appeal to Rupert Murdoch to buy the company for about $4 billion — a number that long has been Katzenberg's target. (A Murdoch rep and DWA declined comment.)

"Jeffrey's overplaying his hand," says one observer, who, like many, is surprised that DWA hasn't closed the SoftBank deal. "I would have jumped all over it. He could claim victory, get his $3 billion and work his way into Masayoshi Son's ear to buy other stuff." ...

I've thought for the longest time that DreamWorks Animation's distribution deal with Fox was Step One in a multi-step deal to have News Corp. buy the whole kit and kaboodle.

After Disney scooped up Pixar for $7.2 billion, rumors were circulating that Jeffrey wanted to sell DWA for the same price. Nice dream, but there were no takers, and the 2008 economic meltdown put the whole idea of selling on ice.

Mr. Katzenberg wants to maximize profit. And this isn't the end of DreamWorks being on the sales block. More like the beginning. If DW Animation isn't sold within the next eighteen months, I'll be surprised.


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