Uni Dream Over -- for Now27 Sep, 2005 By: Erik Gruenwedel
DreamWorks SKG has reportedly ended acquisition discussions with NBC Universal, according to published reports.
The exact reason for the end of deal isn't known despite apparent enthusiasm from both companies involved, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Analysts have long speculated the rumored $1 billion price tag and DreamWorks co-founder and director Steven Spielberg's mandate for complete independence on film projects and indifference in the negotiations as potential stumbling blocks, according to paper.
Analysts maintained the likelihood of a deal as less than 50 percent, due in part to the price tag, shrinking and flattening growth in the theatrical and home entertainment markets, respectively, and lack of financial information about DreamWorks, which is a private company.
Notwithstanding recent successes of Collateral, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy and The Ring, DreamWorks, founded 10 years ago by Spielberg, David Geffen, and Jeffrey Katzenberg, would appear to be in a funk lately following the poor theatrical showing of The Island.
DreamWorks Animation SKG, creator of the “Shrek” franchise, is a separate company and not part of any reported potential acquisition.
Representatives from NBC Universal and DreamWorks were not immediately available for comment.