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DreamWorks shares soar on bid reports

BBC News BBC News 27/04/2016
Actor Jack Black attends the press conference for Kung Fu Panda 3 on 20 January, 2016 in Seoul, South Korea: Jack Black is back as the fast-talking, dumpling-loving panda, Master Po, in Kung Fu 3 © Getty Images Jack Black is back as the fast-talking, dumpling-loving panda, Master Po, in Kung Fu 3

DreamWorks Animation's shares have surged almost 18% after reports that US cable giant Comcast is in talks to buy the Hollywood studio for $3bn (£2.1bn).

While there is no certainty of an offer, the talks are "serious", according to the Financial Times.

DreamWorks is behind a series of animated hit films including Shrek and Kung Fu Panda, and a deal would pit Comcast directly against Walt Disney.

Comcast did not return a request for comment.

Shares in DreamWorks were up 17.9% to $31.98 in early trade.

MoffettNathanson analyst Craig Moffett said Comcast was likely to be interested in DreamWorks' content library and intellectual property, which could help boost Comcast's theme parks.

Comcast is the owner of Universal Studios theme parks, which it acquired as part of its purchase of NBCUniversal in 2011. That deal also included NBC and the Universal Pictures studio behind the Despicable Me and Minions movies.

"Theme parks must be viewed as a foundational element of the Comcast story, and no doubt is a big part of their interest in DreamWorks," Mr Moffett said.

The cable firm, which is the largest provider in the US, reported better-than-expected first quarter results on Wednesday, boosted by a big jump in pay-TV customers,

Net income rose 3.6% to $2.1bn, with total revenues up 5.3% to $18.8bn.

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