Buyers circle as Hasbro puts eOne TV and film business up for sale

Hasbro, the owner of Peppa Pig, Dungeons & Dungeons and many more traditional toy and game-based franchises, has authorised a sale process for the part of its eOne TV and film business not directly supporting the company’s strategy. The decision follows a strategic review led by new CEO, Chris Cocks, the Board of Directors.

Chris Cocks

In support of its recently announced Blueprint 2.0 strategy, Hasbro plans to significantly increase strategic investment in key brands, with a focus on gaming, direct to consumer, Franchise Brands and licensing. Priority brands for investment include Peppa Pig, Transformers, D&D, Magic: The Gathering, My Little Pony, Power Rangers, Play-Doh, Monopoly and Clue. To service its planned activity, Hasbro says it will maintain the capability to develop and produce animation, digital shorts, scripted TV and theatrical films for audiences related to core Hasbro IP.

Cocks said: “Following our recent Investor Day where we introduced our new branded entertainment strategy, Blueprint 2.0, we received interest from several parties for the part of the eOne television and film business that while valuable is not core to our go-forward strategy. This interest informed our decision to explore a sale process.”

Hasbro acquired eOne for $4bn in 2019 – picking up brands like Peppa Pig in the process. But there has been an undercurrent of discontent among activist shareholders that the company has not managed to unlock sufficient value from the union. Cocks said: “The acquisition of eOne delivered fantastic talent, top tier production and deal making capability and beloved brands with strong toyetic potential including Peppa Pig. We will retain these capabilities while exploring the best way to maximize the value of the eOne business for the benefit of our shareholders.”

The Company has retained J.P. Morgan and Centerview Partners to assist with the sale. Assets that are a part of the potential sale include a 6,500+ content library, the non-Hasbro branded film and scripted TV business which produces and finances content like The Woman King, Yellowjackets and The Rookie franchise, Hasbro’s interest in Entertainment One Canada Limited’s Canadian film and TV business, and Hasbro’s unscripted division which includes hits like the Naked & Afraid franchise.

Possible purchasers include leading SVOD platforms seeking to lock up more content for their platforms. It’s difficult to price the eOne assets on offer, because that will depend on the level of competition for its assets. But for guidance Amazon paid $8.5 billion for MGM, a deal that involved a larger content library and a portfolio of iconic movie titles. Banijay, meanwhile, paid $2.2 billion for Endemol Shine, a deal that brought it unscripted powerbrands like Big Brother and Masterchef. Earlier this year, Korea’s CJ ENM bought Endeavour Content for around $800 million.

Hasbro has already sold off part of the eOne business. Its music division was picked up by private equity group Blackstone in 2021 for $385 million.

Tags: eOne, Hasbro

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