Perspectives from ISB

The upcoming $3.8 billion acquisition of DreamWorks Animation by Comcast Corp. is seen by many analysts as a match made in heaven. It allows DreamWorks to keep making movies under the protection of a larger corporate giant. Simultaneously it provides Comcast access to the library and intellectual property of DreamWorks.

Comcast is described as a family business. Brian L. Roberts, Chairman, President, and CEO of Comcast, is son of co-founder Ralph Roberts. Roberts owns or controls just over 1% of all Comcast shares but all of the Class B super voting shares, which gives him 33% voting power in the company.

Comcast is the largest high-speed Internet service provider in the US, serving more than 23 million homes, making the company a formidable distribution and marketing outlet. In recent years it has tried to emulate the strategy of Disney by strengthening its theme parks acquired from Universal Studios. The acquisition of DreamWorks would further enhance the appeal of these theme parks through characters such as Shrek, Kung Fu Panda and the Madagascar gang of animals.


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