Lionsgate to acquire eOne
August 3, 2023
In a move that strengthens its scripted and unscripted television business and expands its presence in Canada and the UK, production house Lionsgate and toy and game specialist Hasbro have signed an agreement under which Lionsgate will acquire the independent content platform eOne in a transaction valued at approximately $500 million (€458m), comprised of cash of $375 million subject to additional purchase price adjustments, and the assumption of production financing loans. The agreement is subject to Hart-Scott-Rodino approval and customary closing conditions. Hasbro acquired eOne from its shareholders in August 2019.
eOne is a producer of scripted and unscripted television and motion pictures with global distribution and a 6,500-title film and television library. Under the agreement, Lionsgate will acquire a library that includes titles such as 1917, Atomic Blonde, Green Book, Grey’s Anatomy, Criminal Minds, Renegade and Designated Survivor.
eOne’s scripted television business is powered by The Rookie TV franchise, now in its sixth season on ABC, the hit spinoff The Rookie: Feds, and production of Showtime’s horror thriller Yellowjackets. eOne’s unscripted business is led by the reality series Naked & Afraid, now in its 11th season on Discovery.
The eOne film and TV business being sold also includes Hasbro’s interest in the Canadian film and TV operations of Entertainment One Canada Limited, and the transaction has also been approved by Entertainment One Canada Limited’s Board of Directors.
As part of the agreement, Lionsgate also will acquire film development rights to Hasbro’s Monopoly, based on the popular board game. 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 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.”
The announcement is the culmination of a rigorous sale process in connection with Hasbro’s recent strategic review and represents a significant milestone in Hasbro’s commitment to executing its Blueprint 2.0 strategy, which at its core is about significantly increasing investment in Hasbro’s priority brands.
In addition to Hasbro’s animation efforts that include Peppa Pig, Transformers: EarthSpark, and My Little Pony: Tell Your Tale, the company will retain a focused team of creative development and business affairs experts to shepherd the 30+ Hasbro-based projects in development, working with the best studios and distribution platforms in Hollywood, including ongoing development of the Transformers and GI Joe franchises, and Hasbro’s board game portfolio.
“This sale fully aligns with our strategy, and we are pleased to bring the process to a successful close,” said Hasbro CEO Chris Cocks. “Lionsgate’s management team is experienced in entertainment and adept at driving value, and we’re glad to have found such a good home for our eOne film & TV business. We look forward to partnering with them, especially on a movie adaptation of Monopoly.”
“Entertainment remains a priority for Hasbro,” he confirmed. “Hasbro will continue to develop and produce entertainment based on the rich vault of Hasbro-owned brands. We will also bring to life new original ideas designed to fuel all areas of Hasbro’s blueprint including toys, publishing, gaming, licensed consumer products, and location-based entertainment. As part of the sale, we expect to move to an asset-lite model for future live action entertainment, relying on licensing and partnerships with select co-productions.”