Hasbro has snapped Entertainment One in an all-cash deal worth $4bn, eight times the amount it paid for Power Rangers last summer.
The acquisition is the biggest in the toy maker’s history and brings globally successful pre-school hits Peppa Pig and PJ Masks into its portfolio, alongside hot newcomer Ricky Zoom, which will begin airing on Nickelodeon in the US and other top broadcasters from next month.
“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,” says Brian Goldner, Hasbro chairman and CEO.
“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.”
Entertainment One’s senior executives will stay on under new ownership, joining forces with Hasbro employees to bolster brands from both portfolios.
Darren Throop, CEO of eOne, says the “strong cultural fit” between the two companies will allow both to “do what they do best”.
“The resulting expanded Hasbro presence in Canada through eOne’s deep roots will bring world class talent and production capabilities to Hasbro,” he adds. “Along with our leadership team, I look forward to working with Hasbro on our joint growth and success for many years to come.”
The acquisition has been voted through by the boards of both companies but remains subject to regulatory approvals, including those of eOne shareholders.
The transaction is expected to complete in the fourth quarter of this year.