Universal Acquires Minority Stake in Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Partners

Studio chairman Jeff Shell to join board of production company

Universal Filmed Entertainment will be taking a minority stake in Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Partners, Universal announced Wednesday.

As part of the deal, Universal chairman Jeff Shell will join the board of Amblin. Universal now joins Amblin Partners’ group of strategic investors, which includes Participant Media, Reliance Entertainment, Entertainment One (eOne), and Alibaba Pictures.

The companies first announced a multiyear partnership in December 2015 for Universal to market and distribute Amblin Partners’ films domestically, as well as in select international territories.

The first title released by Universal under the pact, DreamWorks Pictures’ “The Girl on the Train,” opened last October at No. 1 at the domestic box office. The thriller has gone on to gross more than $175 million worldwide and has earned star Emily Blunt nominations for Best Actress from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts and the Screen Actors Guild.

The second release by Universal, Amblin Entertainment and Walden Media’s new family film, “A Dog’s Purpose,” opened last month in theaters.

“Because Universal has been such a significant part of my life, it is an added pleasure to welcome its stake in Amblin,” Spielberg said in a statement. “Together with [Participant Media chairman] Jeff Skoll and our other partners, we look ahead to creating and delivering the storytelling that defines our brands of filmed entertainment.”