Hasbro Inc, the toymaker that has games like "Monopoly" to its credit, is in early talks to acquire DreamWorks Animation, the Hollywood studio that produced "Shrek" and "Madagascar" among others, according to people familiar with the matter.
DreamWorks Animation and Hasbro are discussing a potential acquisition deal. Deadline reports that the Hasbro board recently visited DWA's campus and a potential deal could be just a couple of months away.
While there is no official word on the deal, Financial Times reports that the price could exceed $30 a share – a 35 percent premium on DWA's Wednesday's closing price. DWA has a market capitalization of $1.9 billion.
If the deal is finalized, the company will be called DreamWorks-Hasbro and DWA CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg is slated to lead the combined firm. The deal would combine two market leaders in their own genres and help both companies diversify from their core businesses.
Through the transaction, DreamWorks can access Hasbro's huge stock of consumer products and intellectual property while Hasbro will be able to use DWA's Hollywood production assets and movies.
But there is no official confirmation of the deal yet. Spokespersons for both companies declined comment saying, "We don't comment on rumors or speculation."
News of the acquisition talks come just six weeks after it was reported that DreamWorks Animation was trying to forge a deal with SoftBank, the Japanese conglomerate which recently caught headlines for its investment in Indian e-commerce firm Snapdeal.com. But soon after, the talks were abandoned for reasons yet undisclosed, according to The Business Insider.
DreamWorks Animation is busy planning a separate deal with The Hearst Corporation to form a joint venture to run its AwesomenessTV unit, which operates a network of YouTube channels, reports Deadline. DWA acquired AwesomenessTV last year for more than $100 million.