Allen sells shares in DreamWorks

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.

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