Lionsgate buys eOne for US$500m


After months of searching for a buyer, Hasbro has sold production-distribution firm Entertainment One (eOne) to Lionsgate for US$500 million.

The deal, which is expected to close by the end of the year, comprised $375m cash, subject to additional purchase price adjustments, and the assumption of production financing loans.

eOne was put up for sale by toy manufacturer Hasbro last year, just three years after it acquired the TV and film company for $4bn, with Lionsgate long-mooted as potential suitor.

US studio Lionsgate now takes control of 6,500-hour content library, including shows such as Grey’s Anatomy, Criminal Minds and Designated Survivor, as well as the TV and film divisions that have been behind seres like Yellowjackets, Naked & Afraid and The Rookie.

On the film side, eOne is behind features including The Woman King, The United States v Billie Holiday and 1917, with Lionsgate also picking up film development rights to Monopoly, based on the Hasbro board game, as part of the deal.

The eOne acquisition will allow Lionsgate to continue to scale its operations in the UK and Canada, where it has recently launched production partnerships with BBC Studios (Ghosts), Channel Four (Motherland), the CBC (Son Of A Critch), Rogers’ CityTV (Wong & Winchester) and Bell Media.

The deal was negotiated by COO Brian Goldsmith, EVP & general counsel Bruce Tobey, EVP corporate development Miles Delaney and VP corporate development Suzy Felfeli for Lionsgate. Jefferies & Co., Ernst & Young and Sheppard Mullin advised Lionsgate on the transaction.

“The acquisition of eOne checks off all the boxes in areas that play to our core strengths,” said Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer. “It will be immediately and highly accretive, adds a world-class library with thousands of properties, strengthens our scripted and unscripted television business and continues to expand our presence in Canada and the UK.

“The deal is the culmination of our long-standing relationship with the immensely talented team at eOne, and it continues to build our position as one of the world’s leading independent content platforms with a stockpile of great intellectual properties and a unique, non-replicable portfolio of assets.”

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