ITV pulls out of eOne acquisition plan

UK broadcaster ITV has withdrawn its proposal to acquire Canadian producer-distributor Entertainment One.

ITV CEO Adam Crozier

ITV CEO Adam Crozier

ITV had tabled an offer of just over £1 billion (US$1.3 billion), which was turned down, but many had expected a deal to be pushed through.

However, ITV today released a statement saying it had “withdrawn its proposal to acquire” eOne.

“ITV continues to believe in the strategic logic and potential benefits of acquiring eOne, but has a clear view of the value of the business, recognising that this value would need to be verified by appropriate due diligence,” the statement read. “It appears this value is different to the level at which the board of eOne would currently engage in a more formal process.

“ITV has a clear strategy to build a stronger, more diversified international business and will continue its disciplined approach to evaluating its healthy pipeline of potential investment opportunities.”

eOne’s share price took a dive on the news, which broke this morning. It was down 13.48% at 217.58 at press time.

The company has been the subject of takeover talk for some time, and it appeared it would join the likes of Leftfield Entertainment, Twofour Group and Talpa Media in the ITV stable after the broadcaster confirmed it was pursuing a deal.

eOne distributes dramas such as The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead, and owns majority rights to the lucrative Peppa Pig business.