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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 July, 2004, 12:14 GMT 13:14 UK
Stock market float for Shrek firm
Still from Shrek 2
Something to smile about in the animation world
DreamWorks Animation, the computer-generated cartoons studio which created the blockbuster Shrek, is to be floated on the US stock market.

The company - which also made Chicken Run - is an offshoot of parent DreamWorks, formed by three US entertainment moguls.

The initial public offering (IPO) may raise as much as $650m (353m).

Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan Chase are managing the sale, DreamWorks Animation said in a statement.

Film and TV production company DreamWorks was founded in 1994 by director and producer Steven Spielberg, former Disney executive Jeffrey Katzenberg and music tycoon David Geffen with the sole aim of creating a media empire.

Other shareholders in the company include Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, Starbucks chairman Howard Schultz and former Pepsi chief Roger Enrico.

Monster success

DreamWorks' animation unit has outshone the operation, partly due to the monster success of Shrek which was one of the highest grossing films of 2001.

Its sequel, Shrek 2, is now raking it in at the box office worldwide.

Dreamworks reported a first-quarter loss of $25.9m and operating revenue of $40.8m, compared with a loss of $11.9m and operating revenue of $48.2m in the previous year.

However, earnings were eroded by the massive pre-release marketing and promotion expenses associated with the May release of Shrek 2.

Market rivals in the animation world include Pixar, Industrial Light & Magic, and Fox's Blue Sky Studios.

"We believe we currently have more computer graphic animated feature films in development and production than any other animation studio," DreamWorks said in its IPO filing.

The BBC's Kate Noble
"Dreamworks is betting big on animation"

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