Paul Allen sells DreamWorks Animation shares

Microsoft co-founder's stake worth about $120 million

Paul Allen has cashed out of DreamWorks Animation, the latest move in the billionaire's reshuffling of his media assets.

According to a regulatory filing, Allen had no stake in DWA as of Dec. 31, whereas he owned more than 18% of the company a year before.

The filing coincided with DWA saying it would transfer its share listing from the New York Stock Exchange to Nasdaq, where it should begin trading around Feb. 26 under the same "DWA" symbol.

Whereas most Nasdaq symbols contain four letters, the exchange recently won the right to allow companies to maintain their old tickers when moving from one exchange to another.

Nasdaq has been wooing companies with its promise of better, more tech-savvy service along with lower fees. Last year, News Corp. also made the switch.

As for Allen, he is ending an equity arrangement with DreamWorks that began with its launch in 1994 with $500 million of Allen's money along with $100 million combined from Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen.

One reason DWA was carved out of the live-action studio and taken public was in order to allow Allen a more lucrative and efficient way to reap the benefits of his investment.

When Allen said he would leave DWA's board of directors more than a year ago, he had sold $150 million of his DWA shares and arranged to sell around $220 million more, then later he sold an additional $75 million. This time around, it's estimated he sold his remaining block of shares for more than $120 million.

Allen's presumed profit from his DreamWorks investment, though, doesn't come close to making up for what he could be losing with Charter Communications. Allen has sunk some $7 billion into the cable TV company, which plans to file for bankruptcy protection on April 1.

Allen, who co-founded Microsoft with Bill Gates, remains one of the wealthiest individuals in world with about $16 billion, according to Forbes. Some of his other high-profile holdings include the NFL's Seattle Seahawks and the NBA's Portland Trail Blazers.
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