Hasbro completes $3.8bn eOne acquisition

Takeover creates lucrative merchandising, content synergies.

By Jeremy Kay 31 Dec 2019

Hasbro completes $3.8bn eOne acquisition

Toy giant Hasbro has closed its $3.8bn all-cash acquisition of Canadian content eOne, creating a stable of lucrative merchandising and content synergies between the toymaker and the owner of Peppa Pig.

The deal was first announced in August. eOne will act as the production arm for Hasbro, whose major brands include Transformers, Power Rangers, and My Little Pony.

Hasbro has collaborated with Paramount Pictures on five Transformers features including a Bumblebee spin-off, and two G. I. Joe features. In 2017 the companies signed a deal to produce and distribute other content based on Hasbro brands and original stories. Hasbro chairman and CEO Brian Goldner told analysts in August he expected the Paramount arrangement to continue and possibly expand.

It remains to be seen what the takeover means for eOne’s stable of companies such as prestige US production and sales outfit Sierra/Affinity, Los Angeles production company Makeready, and distributor Momentum Pictures.

Along with DreamWorks Studios, Participant Media and Reliance Entertainment, eOne also backs Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Partners. It recently bought full control of US film and TV production company The Mark Gordon Company. Mark Gordon himself has a producing deal with eOne.

“We are excited about what we can do together and see tremendous opportunity for shareholder value creation through this acquisition,” said Goldner. “Our businesses are highly complementary with substantial synergies and a great cultural fit. The addition of eOne accelerates our blueprint strategy by expanding our brand portfolio with eOne’s beloved global preschool brands, adding proven TV and film expertise, and creating additional opportunities for long-term profitable growth. We are pleased to welcome the incredibly talented eOne team to our Company.”

eOne president and CEO Darren Throop will report to Goldner. Reporting into Throop are eOne president, family & brands, Olivier Dumont; president, film and television, Steve Bertram; and global president, music, Chris Taylor.

Hasbro expects to redeem eOne’s outstanding senior secured notes and pay off the debt outstanding under eOne’s revolving credit facility, which together represent approximately $784,000 of eOne’s debt.

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