Is a Merger in the DreamWorks?

Chatter about deals is heating up, with speculation growing that DreamWorks Animation may be the target of a possible merger or acquisition.

Among the parties interested in the publicly held company is Time Warner, writes Peter Bart in Variety. Though currently in a distribution deal with Paramount, DreamWorks Animation does have an escape clause coming with a price tag reportedly as high as $150 million.

But Bart says any attempt by Time Warner to buy DreamWorks Animation might trigger a counter-offer from Disney, which recently struck a deal to distribute the output of the live-action DreamWorks studio.

And that’s assuming Paramount would let the company and its upcoming major animated features go without a fight.

This and other acquisitions are likely to become more common in upcoming months in what’s expected to be a new period of consolidation in the motion picture business, Bart writes.