March 1, 2016 / 9:25 PM / in 2 years

DreamWorks interested in Viacom's Paramount Pictures: CEO

Jeffrey Katzenberg, CEO of Dreamworks Animation, speaks at the 2014 Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California April 28, 2014. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

(Reuters) - Hollywood studio DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc DWA.O would be interested in a merger with Viacom Inc’s (VIAB.O) Paramount Pictures, the company’s chief executive said on Tuesday.

“I could imagine that with a good financial partner coming with us, putting together the asset of Paramount and DreamWorks could be extremely valuable,” DreamWorks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg said at the Morgan Stanley investor conference in San Francisco.

DreamWorks would not be interested in buying a stake in Paramount, he added.

Viacom is considering selling a “significant” minority stake in Paramount Pictures, Chief Executive Philippe Dauman said last week.

The entire studio is worth $4 billion, according to an estimate by Sanford Bernstein analyst Todd Juenger.

Katzenberg, who worked with Paramount for 11 years, said the next 12 months for DreamWorks would be “choppy”.

DreamWorks, which is in the middle of a turnaround, has been reducing its dependence on the volatile feature films business to concentrate on increasing revenue from licensing its original content to media houses and video streaming companies.

DreamWorks’ shares closed up 2.3 percent at $26.26, while Viacom ended 1.9 percent higher at $37.56.

Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila

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