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Toymaker Hasbro is acquiring studio Entertainment One in an all-cash transaction valued at $4 billion, bringing My Little Pony and Nerf under the same umbrella as “Peppa Pig” and “PJ Masks” and furthering Hasbro’s growth goals in the infant and preschool categories.
Sources say the news came as a surprise to most people at Entertainment One.
EOne - Execs - Hasbro - Team - Companies
Top eOne execs will join the Hasbro team, said the companies in a joint statement. The independent studio pointed to its kid-friendly fare, noting that it has been transforming its business to focus on “high-quality premium talent-driven content,” including its “Clifford the Big Red Dog” and “Monster Problems.”
On the investor call after the market close Thursday, Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner highlighted the potential to mesh eOne’s strength as a studio with Hasbro’s intellectual property.
EOne - Creation - Capabilities - Audience - Screens
“With eOne’s content creation capabilities … we can reach audience on all screens,” including cable and streaming, he said on the call.
Hasbro and Paramount Pictures in 2017 inked a deal to make live-action and animated films based on the toymaker’s intellectual property, but execs on the call indicated that that partnership would continue, even after the acquisition of eOne, opening the door to Paramount to further develop Hasbro’s IP.
EOne - Half - EBITDA - Family - Brand
Noting that eOne is profitable and that half of its EBITDA last came from its family brand portfolio, Goldner called “Peppa Pig” and “PJ Masks” “highly profitable and merchandisable.”
Per the terms of the deal, eOne shareholders will receive 5.60 pounds per common share, a 31% premium to eOne’s 30-day volume weight average price as of Thursday. Hasbro said the deal will be financed with the proceeds of debt financing and $1 billion to $1.25 billion in cash from equity financing.
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