Lionsgate will buy Hasbro’s Entertainment One film and television business for $500 million.
In November 2022, Hasbro announced that it would put eOne up for sale, and hired JP Morgan and Centerview Partners to help with the sale process. The toymaker acquired the Toronto-based studio in 2019, which houses most of its entertainment assets.
The sale process was kicked off by eOne founder Darren Throop announcing that he would be terminating his employment contract and then leaving the company at the end of 2022. But Throop was quick to seek financing from CVC Capital Partners, a private equity firm based in Luxembourg. with other media interests, to possibly buy back Hasbro’s film and television production and distribution unit.
eOne has a film and television library of around 6,500 titles and a branded scripted film and television business that produces and finances content such as dungeons and dragons: honor among thieves, the king woman, yellow jackets and The noob franchise.
Hasbro acquired eOne in 2019 as part of a $4 billion all-cash transaction. At the time, Hasbro considered eOne’s deal to turn the toymaker into a competitor to the media, as it combined the independent studio’s film and television unit with its own.
The pandemic disrupted that media strategy with Hollywood production shutdowns and content delivery delays as the industry reopened. More recently, Hasbro, under new CEO Chris Cocks, has turned its attention to becoming a digital gaming powerhouse after fending off a proxy battle with an activist investor, Alta Fox Capital Management.
After selling the eOne division, Hasbro is looking to reinvest in fewer, more profitable properties, and to do so with outside partners to reduce cost and risk.