Lionsgate has announced that it has signed an agreement with Hasbro to acquire the independent content platform eOne in a transaction valued at approximately $500 million, 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.

eOne is a world-class 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 critically-acclaimed horror thriller “Yellowjackets”.  eOne’s unscripted business is led by the long-running hit reality series “Naked & Afraid”, now in its 11th season on Discovery.

eOne’s film division has a track record of critically-acclaimed films, including last year’s action adventure “The Woman King”, which debuted to widespread critical acclaim, the Academy Award-nominated “The United States v. Billie Holiday”, and “1917,” eOne’s highest-grossing UK release ever.  As part of the agreement, Lionsgate also will acquire film development rights to Hasbro’s “Monopoly”, based on the wildly 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.

Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer said in a statement:


“The acquisition of eOne checks off all the boxes in areas that play to our core strengths.  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.”

Hasbro has lost billions of dollars on purchasing eOne since it paid almost $4 billion for the film studio in 2019, but it is part of a recent strategic review at Hasbro, which it is now focusing on its core priority brands, including Peppa Pig, Transformers, Magic: The Gathering, Dungeons & Dragons, GI Joe, and My Little Pony.

Hasbro CEO Chris Cocks said in a statement:

“This sale fully aligns with our strategy, and we are pleased to bring the process to a successful close.  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. 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.”

It’s unknown if the change in ownership will impact on the many shows and films that eOne have made with Disney’s studios, like “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Criminal Minds”.  The upcoming 20th Century Studios film, “The Creator”, is also a co-production with eOne.  Disney also licenses many eOne shows like “Peppa Pig” and “PJ Masks” for its streaming services in some countries.   It’s likely that existing contracts will remain in place and won’t impact on Disney+ and Hulu subscribers, since Lionsgate also has many other similar deals in place with Disney and other studios.

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Roger Palmer

Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom. Email: Roger@WhatsOnDisneyPlus.com Twitter: Twitter.com/RogPalmerUK Facebook: Facebook.com/rogpalmeruk

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