Toymaker Hasbro Buys eOne for $4 Billion in Cash

Entertainment One is home to Peppa Pig, PJ Masks and Clifford the Big Red Dog

peppa pig

Hasbro has bought independent production studio Entertainment One for $4 billion, the companies announced Thursday.

The deal adds children’s’ characters like Peppa Pig, PJ Masks, Clifford the Big Red Dog and the upcoming Ricky Zoom to Hasbro’s own roster that includes My Little Pony, Transformers and G.I. Joe. Ricky Zoom is being introduced in a Nickelodeon series in September.

Per the terms of the deal, eOne shareholders will receive $6.86 per share, which represents a 31% premium to eOne’s 30-day volume weight average price as of Thursday.

“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 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.”

The deal for the Canadian studio comes a month after Mark Gordon stepped down as president and chief content officer of the eOne’s film and TV divisions. Hasbro said that “top eOne executives” will be joining Hasbro with the sale, though the company did not identify who those would be. Steve Bertram has headed up eOne’s film and TV departments following Gordon’s exit, working closely with Peter Micelli, chief strategy officer of film and television, and Nick Meyer, president of film.

eOne is behind TV shows including ABC’s “The Rookie,” HBO’s “Sharp Objects” and films “Molly’s Game,” “The Girl on the Train” and Stephen Spielberg’s “The BFG” (eOne has a partnership with Spielberg’s Amblin Partners).

“Hasbro’s portfolio of integrated toy, game and consumer products, will further fuel the tremendous success we’ve achieved at eOne,” said Darren Throop, CEO 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.”