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  Dreamworks No More

" Paramount buys DreamWorks for US$1.6b

LOS ANGELES: Paramount Pictures on Sunday agreed to buy DreamWorks SKG in a US$1.6bil cash-and-debt deal that gives the Viacom Inc-owned studio a much needed boost and ends the efforts of Steven Spielberg and two other moguls to build an independent movie and television empire.

Viacom will pay about US$774mil in cash. The rest of the US$1.6bil purchase price is assumption of debt.

Paramount and its media conglomerate parent sealed the deal in about a week, snatching privately held DreamWorks from General Electric Co's NBC Universal, which had been in on-again, off-again talks for most of a year, executives said.

Viacom plans to sell DreamWorks' 59-title library, which includes Oscar winner American Beauty and hit Gladiator, for US$850mil to US$1bil in the next couple of weeks, leaving it with a net purchase price of US$500mil to US$650mil, Viacom executives said in a conference call.

Steven Spielberg, director of movies like Schindler's List and Saving Private Ryan, will stay on at DreamWorks as producer-director and studio co-founder David Geffen will remain as chairman. "

thestar online

 
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