Universal is in talks to sell its stake in Oriental DreamWorks. The joint venture between China and Hollywood was acquired last year by Jeffery Katzenberg’s DreamWorks Animation for $3.8 billion.
According to the Financial Times, Universal has held discussions to sell its 45% stake in the venture that it inherited when Comcast acquired DreamWorks Animation, the studio behind the Shrek and King Fu Panda franchises. The majority 55% holding is owned by Chinese investment and Li Ruigang’s media group China Media Capital.
Li Ruigang tells the Financial Times that Universal and CMC had different interests saying, “We talked about changing the strategy of Oriental DreamWorks and decreasing the size of the company in order to focus more on the creative side.” He adds, “Also, I am focused more on China and less globally while they want to make films in China for the world. Today, the priority of Universal is a theme park in Beijing.”
FT adds that China Capital has had preliminary talks with Warner Bros. to replace Universal in Oriental DreamWorks. However, it isn’t clear how serious Warner Bros. is when it comes to a deal.