Hasbro in talks to buy DreamWorks Animation: report

A cinema still from Shrek. US toy maker Hasbro is in talks to buy DreamWorks Animation - the studio which produced the blockbuster series, the New York Times reported. -- PHOTO: MEDIACORP
A cinema still from Shrek. US toy maker Hasbro is in talks to buy DreamWorks Animation - the studio which produced the blockbuster series, the New York Times reported. -- PHOTO: MEDIACORP

NEW YORK (AFP) - US toy maker Hasbro is in talks to buy DreamWorks Animation - the studio which produced the blockbuster series Shrek and Madagascar, the New York Times reported late Wednesday.

Hasbro, known for such toys as Transformers and My Little Pony and board games like Monopoly, would pay a mix of cash and stock, the newspaper said, quoting people briefed on the matter.

No price has been set but Jeffrey Katzenberg, CEO of DreamWorks Animation, is seeking more than $30 a share. That would value the company at just over US$2.6 billion, the Times said.

DreamWorks Animation shares closed Wednesday at US$22.37 ars in New York, giving the company a market capitalization of about $1.9 billion.

DreamWorks Animation is the largest independent animation studio in Hollywood.

The company was spun off in 2004 from DreamWorks Studios, founded by David Geffen, Steven Spielberg and Katzenberg.

It posts yearly revenue of about 700 million dollars and makes just a few films a year. But some of them, such as the Shrek series, Kung Fu Panda and Dragon, have been huge box office hits.

In September the studio held talks with another prospective buyer, Japanese telecoms company SoftBank, but they did not yield an agreement.