Mogul resigns from board of animation studio
Paul Allen is continuing to cash out from Hollywood, selling some 15 million of his remaining shares in DreamWorks Animation in a move that’s triggered his resignation from the toon studio’s board of directors.Goldman Sachs has agreed to underwrite a public offering of 10 million of the mogul’s shares, which should bring him more than $300 million. In an effort to minimize the dilutive effect of the new offering, DreamWorks Animation will spend $150 million to buy back additional shares from Allen. Company will pay the same price as Goldman Sachs, which should result in its acquisition of between 4 million and 5 million shares. Once both transactions are complete, the billionaire Microsoft co-founder will be left with between 6 million and 7 million shares, or about 6% of the company’s total outstanding stock. At the current trading price, that stake would be worth around $200 million. Allen was entitled to a seat on DWA’s board so long as his ownership stake remained above a certain level. With the latest sale, he fell below that level and lost his spot. Allen’s departure from the board and the loss of his status as a major shareholder marks a big change for DreamWorks 12 years after the company was founded. He was its primary financial investor, putting about $600 million into the company over the years. He made back some of that when the live-action studio was bought by Viacom, while the rest of his equity was turned into DreamWorks Animation stock. Last fall, Allen triggered a secondary stock offering by DWA that brought him at least $220 million. “I am pleased to have been a principal investor in DreamWorks since its inception and proud of the company’s many successes to date,” Allen said in a statement. Sale comes as DreamWorks Animation stock has recently hovered around $33 in the wake of “Shrek the Third’s” success. Shares haven’t been that high since early 2005, soon after the company’s IPO. In after-hours trading, DWA shares were down 3% on the news of the new public offering.