Spielberg’s Studio Said to Be in Talks With Disney
By Andy Fixmer and Michael White
Feb. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Steven Spielberg’s DreamWorks SKG studio ended talks to distribute movies through General Electric Co.’s Universal Pictures and is now in discussions with Walt Disney Co., according to a person with knowledge of the matter.
Over the past several weeks, DreamWorks sought changes to previously agreed-upon terms, Los Angeles-based Universal said today in a statement. As a result, DreamWorks is talking with Disney, said the person, who declined to be identified because the discussions are private.
Spielberg and DreamWorks investment partner Reliance Entertainment Pvt. have been financing the studio’s startup costs while they seek additional funds. Those efforts have been hampered by credit-market turmoil.
Heidi Trotta, a spokeswoman for Disney’s film studio, declined to comment. Spielberg spokesman Marvin Levy wasn’t available.
Disney, based in Burbank, California, rose 80 cents to $19.51 at 2:01 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. General Electric, based in Fairfield, Connecticut, rose 29 cents to $11.14.
The New York Times reported on the Disney talks earlier, citing four people with knowledge of the situation.
Spielberg, 62, chose Universal Pictures in October to distribute films following his departure from Viacom Inc.’s Paramount Pictures. Stacey Snider is the studio’s co-chairman and chief executive officer.
Universal released early Spielberg films, including “Jaws” and “E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial,” and his offices remained there after DreamWorks was sold to Paramount.