In December 2019, global play and entertainment company Hasbro fully acquired independent studio operation Entertainment One for $3.8 billion in cash, joining two major global licensors in a move that all at once made perfect sense and creates a global toy box unlike any other at market. (Hasbro and eOne ranked at No. 6 and No. 27, respectively, on License Global’s 2019 Top 150 Global Licensors report, which leaned on 2018 data. This year, Hasbro comes in at No. 7, and under its new name, eOne Family Brands, ranks at No. 30.)
With profitable and merchandisable hits in its stable such as the evergreen “Peppa Pig” and hugely popular “PJ Masks,” and newer properties like “Ricky Zoom” rolling out, eOne Family Brands brings a wealth of leverageable content to Hasbro’s already robust portfolio of more than 1,500 owned and partner brands, ensuring that future growth remains inevitable for the now fully integrated entertainment company.
“The acquisition of eOne adds beloved story-led global family brands that deliver strong operating returns to Hasbro’s portfolio and provides a pipeline of new brand creation
driven by family-oriented storytelling, which will now include Hasbro’s IP,” said Brian Goldner, chairman and chief executive officer, Hasbro, in a statement at the deal’s closing. (Goldner has led Hasbro since 2008.) “In addition,
Hasbro will leverage eOne’s immersive entertainment capabilities to bring our portfolio of brands that have appealed to gamers, fans and families to all screens globally and realize full franchise economics across our blueprint strategy for shareholders. We are excited to welcome eOne’s talented employees from around the world into the Hasbro family.”
And while the preschool brands like “Peppa Pig” and “PJ Masks” are obvious wins for Hasbro and synergize effortlessly with the toy company, which counts franchises like NERF, Transformers, My Little Pony, Monopoly, Magic: The Gathering, Dungeons & Dragons, Power Rangers (acquired from Saban Brands for $522 million in 2018) and more in its broad entertainment portfolio, it’s the future potential of eOne’s production capabilities that has the company really energized.
By developing, owning and strategically distributing content, the acquisition positions Hasbro to capture more franchise opportunity thanks to differentiated platforms, through scripted and unscripted TV development, live-action and animated content. The buy is also projected to be quite liquid come 2022, thanks in part to realized savings from moving eOne’s toy manufacturing in-house, giving its licensing business yet another leg up and an added gloss of shine to the total package…