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DreamWorks Animation in Talks to Sell to Japan’s SoftBank (Report)

The deal would value the company at $3.4 billion

DreamWorks Animation is in talks to sell to Japanese conglomerate SoftBank, according to media reports.

The deal would value the company at $3.4 billion, with SoftBank offering to purchase it at $32 a share, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

DWA founder and CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg would also sign a new five-year contract to stay with the company. The DreamWorks board reportedly met in emergency session on Thursday to discuss the proposed deal.

When reached for comment by TheWrap, a DreamWorks spokeswoman said, “We don’t comment on rumors and speculation.”

Also read: DreamWorks Animation Loses Money for the Second Quarter in a Row

Katzenberg has long sought to sell DWA, which as a public company has struggled to perform for the harsh demands of Wall Street.

DreamWorks Animation saw a lower-than-expected second quarter in July, leading to rumors that there would be a sale. The company also took a $13.5 million write-down for “Turbo” in February. The studio has also seen an increase in production costs. The upcoming “Penguins of Madagascar” and “Home” will cost $135 million, reversing plans to keep costs at $120 million and under.

DreamWorks has taken a beating in the stock market with the release of many of its animated movies, including its latest “Mr. Peabody and Sherman,” which grossed $273 million worldwide. Its other 2014 release “How to Train Your Dragon 2” has performed better, grossing $610 million worldwide.

Also read: ‘How to Train Your Dragon 2’ Passes $500 Million Box Office Worldwide

In recent years, Katzenberg has sought to diversify DreamWorks Animation’s business, expanding into television, digital media and consumer products to insulate itself from the vicissitudes of the film business, which Katzenberg has said is no longer a growth business.

It acquired AwesomenessTV, struck a deal with Netflix to produce original series and has built out its consumer products division.