International production and distribution company Entertainment One (eOne) has rejected a takeover offer from U.K. broadcaster ITV, which had bid about 1 billion GBP ($1.3b USD). In its initial statement to shareholders, eOne said it had rejected a preliminary proposal from an unidentified party because it “fundamentally undervalues the company and its prospects.” eOne later confirmed the bidder to be ITV.
The aspiring owner had offered 2.36 GBP per share ($3.07 USD), valuing the company at 1.03 billion GBP. The broadcaster said this offer represented “a significant premium over the undistributed eOne share price, prior to the impact of recent bid speculation.” ITV went on to state that a key part of its strategy to add value is to build a scaled international content and distribution business, with a focus on U.S. scripted content.
eOne experienced a drop in share prices last December, but has rebounded since, with shares seeing a bump as a result of the news of the ITV offer. The takeover had been rumored since earlier this year. The company’s annual figures announced in May were helped by its TV activities (notably the success of animated series Peppa Pig).
eOne currently has offices in Toronto, Los Angeles and London, and has been pursuing an aggressive growth strategy over the last couple years. Recent acquisitions include Peppa Pig producer Astley Baker Davies and The Mark Gordon Company.
On ITV’s end, the broadcaster has been on a shopping spree, scooping up Twofour, Mammoth Screen and Talpa Media in the last year and change. Previous acquisitions include Leftfield Pictures, Gurney Productions, High Noon Entertainment, Thinkfactory Media and Diga Vision.