Hasbro to offload Entertainment One less than three years after $4bn acquisition

Yellowjackets

Hasbro is looking to sell off the majority of Entertainment One (eOne), just three years after acquiring the company for $4bn.

The US-based toy giant will retain key brands including Peppa Pig, Transformers, My Little Pony and Play-Doh as part of a strategy that will see it sell off “non-core” elements of the business.

The move, which follows a strategic review, will see eOne’s 6,500-hour library being put up for sale, as well as the TV and film divisions that have been behind shows such as Yellowjackets, Naked & Afraid and The Rookie. US investment banks JP Morgan and Centreview Partners have started the sales process.

Peppa Pig

Hasbro’s recently installed CEO, Chris Cocks, said that “inbound interest” had been received from “several parties” for eOne’s TV and film interests, which “while valuable is not core to our go-forward strategy”.

The news came after Hasbro revealed details of its Blueprint 2.0 plan. IP including Dungeons & Dragons, Power Rangers and board game brands such as Monopoly and Cluedo will receive increased investment to drive returns from areas such as gaming, licensing and direct to consumer.

Cocks added that the $4bn acquisition of Hasbro, struck in 2019, had “delivered fantastic talent, top-tier production and deal-making capability and beloved brands with strong toyetic potential.

“We will retain these terrific capabilities while exploring the best way to maximise the value of the eOne TV and film business for the benefit of our shareholders,” said Cocks, who took on his role after Brian Goldner passed away.

The Rookie

“Significant development, production and financing capabilities” to support TV, film, animation and digital short production of core brand content have been retained, although it is not clear which teams are safe.

Hasbro has had limited success in flipping toy brands into screen IP. Amazon Freevee ordered a family competition special, Play-Doh Squished, last year and a scripted TV series based around the classic board game Risk was revealed in January 2021.

The toy giant added that a deal might not happen and could take months, with its entertainment division in the interim continuing to operate under eOne’s production banner.

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