Toy giant Hasbro has struck a deal to acquire independent studio Entertainment One — home to hit preschool brands such as Peppa Pig and PJ Masks. Hasbro has significantly built up its movie and TV business in recent years, creating blockbuster cinematic treatments and popular animated series inspired by hit franchises like Transformers and My Little Pony.
The all-cash transaction is valued at $4 billion. eOne shareholders will receive $6.86 for each common share.
Hasbro CFO Deborah Thomas told investors over a conference call that the companies have identified about $130 million in cost savings by 2022, achievable by making changes like bringing licensing in-house. Top eOne execs will be joining the Hasbro team, while eOne’s Canada-based TV and film operations will continue as a distinct business within the combined companies.
“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 Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner. “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.”
Allan Leighton, non-executive director and chairman of eOne’s Board of Directors, stated: “On behalf of the board of eOne, I am very pleased by this exciting development, which is a testament to eOne management’s vision, leadership and solid execution. This transaction creates significant, immediate value for our shareholders as it recognizes the strength of our future-facing business model.”