THR Downplays Softbank's Dreamworks Animation Buyout, Reports on Talks With Legendary

posted on by Rachel Mahoney

According to the entertainment news source Variety on Sunday, the Japanese business newspaper Nihon Keizai Shimbun said the Japanese conglomerate SoftBank's bid to acquire DreamWorks Animation for US$3.4 billion may not be successful. An unnamed source from SoftBank said, “It's true that we are in contact, but the likelihood of [the deal] actually happening is slim.” The bid, revealed on Saturday by The Hollywood Reporter, is a 43% premium on DreamWorks Animation's stock price as of Friday.

The Hollywood Reporter also downplayed Softbank's talks with DreamWorks Animation on Monday, but added that Softbank "is closing in on a deal to make a significant investment in Thomas Tull's Legendary Pictures studio." THR emphasized that these talks have been ongoing for several weeks and are separate from Softbank's negotiations with Dreamworks Animation. Among Legendary's productions are this year's Godzilla film, Pacific Rim, The Dark Knight trilogy and other films by Christopher Nolan, and The Hangover trilogy.

SoftBank acquired Sprint for US$21.6 billion in 2013 and owns a $72.3 billion stake in e-commerce group Alibaba. However, investors in SoftBank saw the corporation's stock fall over 1 percent on Monday because of the uncertainty over the DreamWorks Animation bid.

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