Hasbro is looking to sell eOne after buying Media Company for $3.8 billion in 2019

Erik Gruenwedel

On Nov. 17, Hasbro announced it was looking to get rid of Entertainment One (eOne), the Canadian television and film studio/distributor it acquired in 2019 for $3.8 billion.

The decision comes as new CEO Chris Cocks (who replaced former CEO Brian Goldner after his death from cancer) launched an internal strategic review process which, together with the board, authorized a process sales for the portion of its eOne TV and movie business not directly supporting Hasbro’s content strategy.

Hasbro said any sale would not impact its ability to develop and produce animated films, digital shorts, scripted-for-television films and films for audiences related to the core IP. from Hasbro.

What’s included in any sale would be eOne’s content library of over 6,500 titles; the non-Hasbro branded scripted film and television business, which produces and finances content, including recent theatrical release, woman king, Showtime’s “Yellowjackets” and ABC TV’s “The Rookie” franchise; Hasbro’s participation in the Canadian film and television businesses of Entertainment One Canada Limited; and Hasbro’s unscripted division that includes the “Naked & Afraid” franchise, among others.

“The acquisition of eOne has delivered fantastic talent, industry-leading production and contracting capability, and beloved brands with high toy potential, including Peppa Pig,” Cocks said in a statement. “We will retain these formidable capabilities while exploring how best to maximize the value of the eOne TV and film business for the benefit of our shareholders.”

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Indeed, any potential sale could reflect recent media asset deals led by AT&T, which divested minority stakes with majority operational control of the former WarnerMedia (now Warner Bros. Discovery) and DirecTV.

Meanwhile, Hasbro plans to significantly increase its strategic investments in key brands, with a focus on games, direct-to-consumer, franchise brands and licensing. These include “Peppa Pig”, “Transformers”, “Dungeons & Dragons”, “Magic: The Gathering”, “My Little Pony”, “Power Rangers”, “Play-Doh” and the board game portfolio of Hasbro, including “Monopoly” and “Index”.

The company plans to maintain its development, production and financing capabilities to support its core brands in film, television, animation and digital shorts. These projects include the development of new IPs such as the recently announced “Kiya and the Kimoja Heroes” which is slated to premiere on Disney Junior and Disney+ in 2023.

The company has retained the services of JP Morgan and Centerview Partners to assist in the sale process.

Cathy W. Howerton