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Japan’s SoftBank in Talks to Buy DreamWorks

Japan’s SoftBank Corp (9984.T) is in talks to acquire DreamWorks Animation SKG (DWA.O), the Hollywood studio behind the “Shrek” and “Madagascar” movie hits, a person with knowledge of the situation said.

An acquisition of DreamWorks by SoftBank would make it part of a cash-rich Japanese communications and media company that, under founder and chief executive Masayoshi Son, has shown a willingness to take big bets on combining disparate businesses.

The talks were first reported by the Hollywood Reporter, which quoted an unidentified source as saying a buyout would value DreamWorks at $3.4 billion.

The entertainment trade publication said SoftBank had offered $32 per share for DreamWorks, a substantial premium to the stock’s Friday closing price of $22.36.

Buying DreamWorks, which is headed by veteran Hollywood producer and film executive Jeffrey Katzenberg, would make SoftBank the second Japanese technology company to buy a Hollywood studio, following Sony Corp (6758.T), which bought Columbia Pictures in 1989.

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