Universal Music Group has reached an agreement in principle to acquire DreamWorks Records from DreamWorks SKG for about $100 million, sources confirm to Billboard Bulletin. The label was founded by the Hollywood triumvirate of filmmaker Steven Spielberg, former Disney honcho Jeffrey Katzenberg and record mogul David Geffen.
Under the deal, DreamWorks will be placed within Interscope/Geffen/A&M, under the direction of Jimmy Iovine. According to sources, it is too early to say whether the label will continue to operate on its own or will be folded into one of the Interscope labels. Also, no decision has been made yet as to whether DreamWorks principals Mo Ostin, Lenny Waronker and Michael Ostin will stay on.
DreamWorks issued its first release in 1996. The label has major upcoming albums on the way from Toby Keith, Floetry and Nelly Furtado and was also home to the late Elliott Smith.
While questions are being raised about the future of the music industry, UMG management thinks this is a time of opportunity, according to one source familiar with the deal. “For those who believe, there is a lot of gold to be mined now,” the source says.