Hasbro is to acquire Peppa Pig owner Entertainment One (eOne) in an all-cash transaction valued at $4bn (£3.3 billion).
Hasbro owns brands including Nerf, My Little Pony, Transformers, Play-Doh, Monopoly, Baby Alive, Magic: The Gathering and Power Rangers and creates shows based on its properties through its Allspark Pictures and Allspark Animation labels.
Along with Peppa Pig and Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom, Entertaiment One owns movie and TV distribution businesses and production companies including Whizz Kid.
“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 chief executive officer. “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 realise 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.”
“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 recognises the strength of our future-facing business model,” said Allan Leighton, eOne’s chairman of the board.
“Hasbro’s portfolio of integrated toy, game and consumer products, will further fuel the tremendous success we’ve achieved at eOne,” said Darren Throop, chief executive officer of eOne. “There’s a strong cultural fit between our two companies; eOne’s stated mission is to unlock the power and value of creativity which aligns with Hasbro’s corporate objectives. 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. In addition, the resulting expanded Hasbro presence in Canada through eOne’s deep roots will bring world class talent and production capabilities to Hasbro. Along with our leadership team, I look forward to working with Hasbro on our joint growth and success for many years to come.”
“By combining two profitable and financially disciplined companies we expect to unlock value in the short- and long-term for our stakeholders,” said Deborah Thomas, Hasbro’s chief financial officer. “eOne’s brands and TV and film expertise, together with Hasbro’s brands, toy and game innovation and licensing capabilities, positions us to more quickly drive revenue and profit over the medium-term. We remain committed to maintaining an investment grade rating and returning to our gross Debt to EBITDA target of 2.00 to 2.50X.”
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