LONDON (CelebrityAccess) – Toy maker Hasbro has acquired Canadian studio Entertainment One (eOne) as part of a $4 billion all-cash transaction.
The acquisition adds eOne-owned properties such as “evergreen” preschool brand Peppa Pig as well as PJ Masks to Hasbro’s portfolio, in addition to brands under development, such as Ricky Zoom, which airs in September.
Under the terms of the deal, which was announced Thursday (Aug. 22) after the market close, eOne shareholders will receive $6.80 in cash for each common share, which Hasbro says represents a 31 percent premium to its 30-day average price.
Hasbro will use debt financing and a $1 billion to $1.25 billion equity offering to fund the takeover of eOne, which trades on the London Stock Exchange. The toy maker also says that it has entered into a debt commitment letter with Bank of America Merrill Lynch to provide a 364-day senior unsecured bridge loan facility to secure funding of the purchase price.
Commenting on the acquisition, Brian Goldner, Hasbro chairman and Chief Executive Officer said: “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.
“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.”
Allan Leighton, eOne’s Chairman of the board added: “On behalf of the board of eOne, I am very pleased by this exciting development, which is a testament to eOne management’s vision, leadership and solid execution. This transaction creates significant, immediate value for our shareholders as it recognizes the strength of our future-facing business model.”
Darren Throop, Chief Executive Officer of eOne said: “Hasbro’s portfolio of integrated toy, game and consumer products, will further fuel the tremendous success we’ve achieved at 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.”
Deborah Thomas, Hasbro’s chief financial officer: “By combining two profitable and financially disciplined companies we expect to unlock value in the short- and long-term for our stakeholders. eOne’s brands and TV and film expertise, together with Hasbro’s brands, toy and game innovation and licensing capabilities, positions us to more quickly drive revenue and profit over the medium-term. We remain committed to maintaining an investment grade rating and returning to our gross Debt to EBITDA target of 2.00 to 2.50X.”
A number of “top” unnamed eOne executives are expected to make the move to the Hasbro team.