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Hasbro buys eOne for $4bn

Peppa Pig is one of eOne’s biggest properties

US-based toy giant Hasbro has acquired transatlantic producer/distributor Entertainment One (eOne) in an all-cash deal valued at approximately £3.3bn (US$4bn).

Brian Goldner

The deal adds what Hasbro described as eOne’s “beloved global preschool brands” Peppa Pig and PJ Masks, as well as a slate of additional brands in development like new Nickelodeon series Ricky Zoom, to Hasbro’s brand portfolio that includes Monopoly, My Little Pony, G.I. Joe, Transformers and Power Rangers.

Hasbro added that “top eOne executives have agreed to join the Hasbro team” without giving further details. The toyco did say, however, that it expects to achieve synergies of around US$130m by 2022, driven by moving much of eOne’s toy business in-house, making eOne’s licensing and merchandising business more profitable and what it called “integration benefits”.

Under the deal, eOne shareholders will get £5.60 in cash for each common share they own, which Hasbro said represents a 31% premium to eOne’s average share price over the past 30 days. Hasbro will finance the deal through new debt as well as by issuing more than US$1bn in new shares.

The combined entity will have offices in London, Los Angeles, Toronto, New York, Hong Kong, Melbourne and Shanghai. eOne’s Canadian TV and film operations will also remain as a separate Canadian-controlled subsidiary within the combined business. Included in the deal are eOne’s TV production assets such as Whizz Kid Entertainment, Renegade 83 and Daisybeck Studios.

The deal has been approved by the Hasbro and eOne boards but is awaiting approval by regulators, eOne shareholders and the Ontario Superior Court. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year.

“The acquisition of eOne adds beloved story-led global family brands that deliver strong operating returns to Hasbro’s portfolio and provides a pipeline of new brand creation driven by family-oriented storytelling, which will now include Hasbro’s IP,” said Brian Goldner, Hasbro chairman and CEO.

“In addition, Hasbro will leverage eOne’s immersive entertainment capabilities to bring our portfolio of brands that have appeal to gamers, fans and families to all screens globally and realize full franchise economics across our blueprint strategy for shareholders. We are excited to welcome eOne’s talented employees from around the world into the Hasbro family.”

“Hasbro’s portfolio of integrated toy, game and consumer products, will further fuel the tremendous success we’ve achieved at eOne,” added Darren Throop, CEO of eOne, which is based in Toronto but listed in London. “There’s a strong cultural fit between our two companies. eOne teams will continue to do what they do best, bolstered by the access to Hasbro’s extensive portfolio of richly creative IP and merchandising strength.”


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