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DreamWorks Animation Reportedly in Merger Talks with Hasbro

In a deal said to be at least 60 days off, DWA head Jeffrey Katzenberg would chair the combined operation to be called DreamWorks-Hasbro. 

‘How to Train Your Dragon 2’

Get ready for a new line of Hiccup and Toothless dolls. Deadline reports that DreamWorks Animation is in talks with toymaker Hasbro for a possible deal that would see the two companies merge.

While a potential pact between DWA and Hasbro is said to be at least 60 days off, the two companies reportedly have agreed that DWA head Jeffrey Katzenberg would chair the combined operation, to be called DreamWorks-Hasbro.

In a marketplace where studios typically license their film and TV properties to Hasbro or rival Mattel, the merger would create one of the only studios to own an actual toy production business. Hasbro currently produces playthings for Disney, Marvel and Lucasfilm’s Star Wars franchise.

Hasbro owns 40 percent of Discovery Family, known until September as children’s channel The Hub

DreamWorks Animation is said to be looking for Hasbro to pay $35 a share in a potential deal, a 56.5 percent premium over the studio’s closing price on Wednesday.

In another potential deal, the studio is also considering selling a stake of AwesomenessTV to Hearst Publishing for $81.5 million. The terms would value AwesomenessTV at $300 million, double what DreamWorks paid for it in October 2013. The terms of the deal would see Hearst paying $81.25 million for a 25 percent stake of the company, with $56.25 million going directly to DreamWorks Animation and $25 million used as an investment in AwesomenessTV.

Despite the success of its sequel How to Train Your Dragon 2, the studio has taken a beating this year. DreamWorks Animation’s shares have lost roughly 37 percent of their value after the company took write-downs on Return of The GuardiansTurbo, and Mr. Peabody & Sherman

Jennifer Wolfe's picture

Formerly Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network, Jennifer Wolfe has worked in the Media & Entertainment industry as a writer and PR professional since 2003.