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DreamWorks Animation in $3.4bn sale talks

Jeffrey Katzenberg’s DreamWorks Animation is talking with Japanese conglomerate SoftBank about a US$3.4 billion deal, according to reports.

jeffrey_katzenberg_hi_173SoftBank is said to have offered DreamWorks shareholders US$32 a share, value the firm at nearly US$3.5 billion.

DreamWorks founder and CEO Katzenberg (pictured) would sign a five-year contact to remain with the company if a deal was to go through, according to the Hollywood Reporter, which broke the news over the weekend citing a source close to the negotiations.

DreamWorks held an emergency board meeting to discuss the offer, the trade reported, adding that former Google executive Nikesh Arora has been liasing between DreamWorks and SoftBank, which he joined he head up a new internet division.

SoftBank is a telecoms company that has assets in various sectors. It recently saw its share price soar after Chinese conglomerate Alibaba, in which it holds a 30% equity stake, launched the biggest IPO in US business history.

DreamWorks produces a number of TV series such as Netflix’s Turbo F.A.S.T., and also acquired Classic Media, which was rebranded as DreamWorks Classics after the 2012 deal.

SoftBank’s stake in Alibaba cost the firm US$20 million in 2000. The stake is now worth US$50 billion.