Please wait...
Please wait...

eOne denies ITV takeover approach

eOne owns popular children's brand Peppa Pig

eOne owns popular children’s brand Peppa Pig

Transatlantic producer and distributor Entertainment One (eOne) has brushed off reports that it is in takeover talks with UK broadcaster ITV.

ITV is said to be eyeing the Peppa Pig owner as part of its ongoing acquisitions strategy and has already held “preliminary talks” with the company, according to US and UK reports.

However, an eOne statement released this morning, acknowledging what it called “press speculation,” insisted “no approach has been received,” without referencing ITV specifically.

News of the talks, which were first reported by Bloomberg, have caused eOne’s share price to rise significantly, while ITV’s has also gone up.

At the end of 2015, eOne saw its market value plummet by around £300m (US$450m) amid fears about debt refinancing and the profitability of its movie business.

The firm, which has offices in Toronto, LA and London, saw its share price more than halve in the last six months of 2015.

Since 2014, eOne has been pursuing a strategy to double in size. The company bought a controlling stake in hit children’s title Peppa Pig from the brand’s co-owner Astley Baker Davies last September.

ITV CEO Adam Crozier

ITV CEO Adam Crozier

It also shelled out US$132.6m for a majority stake in Grey’s Anatomy producer The Mark Gordon Company, following acquisitions including Paperny Entertainment and Force Four Entertainment.

Most recently, eOne paid US$23m for a controlling stake in US reality producer Renegade 83.

ITV, meanwhile, has been on the acquisitions trail since March last year, going on a buying spree that has seen it acquire Northern Irish broadcaster UTV, UK indie Twofour, Poldark producer Mammoth Screen and John de Mol’s Talpa Media.

These buy-outs added to its string of transatlantic prodco acquisitions over the past two years, including Leftfield Pictures, Gurney Productions, High Noon Entertainment, Thinkfactory Media and Diga Vision in the US.

undressedITV CEO Adam Crozier last month described the broadcaster as a “consolidator of companies,” while playing down claims that his company is now a takeover target, despite analysts’ predictions that media giants like BT are in the running.


Please wait...