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Canada’s Entertainment One (eOne), the owner of children’s TV character Peppa Pig, has rejected a £1 billion takeover offer from ITV, saying it undervalued the London-listed TV and film production and distribution company.
“The board of eOne has reviewed the proposal and has unanimously rejected it on the basis that it fundamentally undervalues the company and its prospects,” it said.
eOne says its library of rights alone were independently valued at over $1 billion last year and includes over 40,000 film and television titles, 4,500 hours of television programming and 45,000 music tracks.
A second bid from ITV, Britain’s biggest FTA commercial broadcaster, seems likely. The company has been busy buying up prod-cos for the last few years as it seeks to lessen its reliance on UK ad sales.
“A key part of that strategy is continuing to build a scaled international content and global distribution business, with a focus on US scripted content,” it said in a statement. “ITV believes that the proposed combination with eOne has a strong strategic rationale and would further accelerate ITV’s rebalancing of the business.”