According to The Hollywood Reporter, Hasbro has called off negotiations with animation studio DreamWorks Animation following word in recent days that the toy company was looking to acquire the animation studio. Hasbro stock took a hit, dropping about 4 percent on Thursday, when reports of the acquisition broke.
DreamWorks reportedly wanted $30 per share, a relatively steep incline for stock trading at roughly $22.
Below is the original story as reported before the weekend update:
DreamWorks Animation—which was spun off from DreamWorks Studios in 2004—is in talks to be acquired by toy manufacturer Hasbro, according to several reports.
The negotiations are still ongoing, but people familiar with the deal told The New York Times that DreamWorks is seeking a more than $30 per share valuation. In comparison, DreamWorks stock closed at $22.37 on Wednesday.
If the merger goes through, DreamWorks’ current CEO, Jeffrey Katzenberg, would become chairman of the combined operation, the reports noted.
Neither DreamWorks or Hasbro would comment publicly on the acquisition buzz. The movie studio told Deadline, which broke the story originally, that “as a publicly traded company, we don’t comment on rumors and speculation.” Hasbro issued a similar statement.
If consumated, the deal would give Hasbro an outlet to expand some of its popular toy franchises, including My Little Pony, G.I. Joe and Transformers. According to the Times, Hasbro had sales of $1.47 billion in its third quarter this year, up 7 percent from last year. DreamWorks reported $11.9 million in income for the quarter, an increase from last year. Still, that's nearly 50 percent less than the studio was making at its highest point in 2010, as recent films like Turbo and Rise of the Guardians fell short of box office expectations.
Separately, DreamWorks is reportedly in talks with Hearst Publications to sell a 25 percent stake in the AwesomenessTV YouTube channel, aimed at teenage girls. Deadline reported that deal would cost Hearst $81.25 million, with $25 million going towards a direct investment in the channel, and the rest going to DreamWorks. The investment would allow the brand to create new content and expand to additional channels, including one aimed at mothers and another at children’s sports.