Canadian-American global entertainment company Lionsgate is buying toy maker Hasbro’s Entertainment One (eOne) film and TV business for $500 million, including $375 million in cash. The companies announced the deal before the stock market opened on August 3rd.
The transaction has been approved by both companies’ boards of directors and remains subject to customary closing conditions, including the receipt of regulatory approvals. Barring any regulatory holdups, the deal is expected to close by the end of 2023.
The sale of eOne to Lionsgate includes “nearly 6,500 titles, active productions for non-Hasbro owned IP like “The Rookie,” “Yellowjackets,” the “Naked and Afraid” franchises, and the eOne unscripted business, which will include rights for certain Hasbro-based shows like “Play-Doh Squished.”eOne film also includes Hasbro’s interest in the Canadian film and TV operations of Entertainment One Canada Limited.
The Toronto-based studio was acquired by Hasbro in 2019 to house its entertainment assets. The toy maker made the $4 billion all-cash transaction looking to build the company into more of a multimedia bossiness. eOne has also produced and helped finance Hasbro’s “Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves.”
This plan got side-longed with the Covid-19 pandemic causing production shutdowns and delays. Then, eOne founder Darren Throop announced he would leave at the end of 2022. In addition to these shakeups, CEO Chris Cocks took over and wanted to shift focus to being a digital gaming powerhouse. Because of all of this Hasbro decided to put eOne up for sale in November.
Hasbro plans to reinvest the proceeds from the sale of eOne into fewer and more profitable properties. With the aid of outside partners, to reduce the company’s costs and risk. “This sale fully aligns with our strategy, and we are pleased to bring the process to a successful close,” Cocks said. “Lionsgate’s management team is experienced in entertainment and adept at driving value, and we’re glad to have found such a good home for our eOne film and TV business.”
It is also on brand with Lionsgate’s overall business strategy. “The acquisition of eOne checks off all the boxes in areas that play to our core strengths,” said Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer. “It will be immediately and highly accretive, adds a world-class library with thousands of properties, strengthens our scripted and unscripted television business and continues to expand our presence in Canada and the U.K. The deal is the culmination of our long-standing relationship with the immensely talented team at eOne, and it continues to build our position as one of the world’s leading independent content platforms with a stockpile of great intellectual properties and a unique, non-replicable portfolio of assets.”
We’ll keep you posted on updates about the sale of eOne as they become available.