Lionsgate Completes Entertainment One Merger – The Hollywood Reporter

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Lionsgate has completed a $500 million deal to acquire certain assets of Entertainment One from Hasbro.

The studio met a year-end deadline to pick up a content library of nearly 6,500 titles and active productions for non-Hasbro owned IP like the YellowjacketsThe Rookie and Naked and Afraid franchises, as well as the eOne unscripted business.

The eOne branded film business also produced and financed movies as like Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves and The Woman King. The transaction also includes the film development rights to Hasbro’s Monopoly classic board game brand.

Acquiring eOne allows Lionsgate to strengthen its production operations and continue grow its film and TV businesses in the U.K. and Canada, where it has extensive local partnerships.

“The eOne acquisition concludes a busy year in which we continued to execute our strategy of strengthening our studio business as we prepare for the separation of Lionsgate and Starz into pure play standalone companies,” said Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer in a statement on Wednesday. 

The year-end completion for the eOne deal comes as Lionsgate has renewed its 3 Arts partnership with an expanded majority stake and unveiled plans to launch Lionsgate Studios as a publicly-traded, standalone company as part of a long-awaiting spinoff of the studio business.

“As we’ve conducted our integration planning, our analysis has reaffirmed our conviction that eOne will be a valuable and highly accretive addition to our business. We are pleased to welcome eOne’s talented group of employees to our Lionsgate family,” Feltheimer added.

Hasbro, meanwhile, will retain branded assets like the popular Peppa Pig and PJ Masks kids properties as it looks to become a digital games giant. The Lionsgate transaction comprised $375 million paid in cash and taking on production financing loans.

Hasbro acquired eOne in 2019 as part of a $4 billion all-cash transaction. At the time, Hasbro looked to the eOne deal to build the toy maker into a media contender as it combined the indie studio’s film and TV unit with its own.

The pandemic disrupted that media strategy with a Hollywood production shutdown and delays in content deliveries as the industry reopened. More recently, Hasbro, under newly installed CEO Chris Cocks, turned its focus to becoming a digital gaming powerhouse after fending off a proxy battle with an activist investor, Alta Fox Capital Management.

Jefferies & Co., Sheppard Mullin and Denton’s Canada LLP advised Lionsgate on the transaction.

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