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Hasbro revisits eOne

Richard Collings
Aug 22, 2022
Animated character Peppa Pig appears in front of Hasbro's booth in a convention hall.
Photo: John Keeble/Getty Images

Hasbro could look to sell parts of Entertainment One (eOne), which it acquired in 2019 for $3.8 billion, Bloomberg reports.

Why it's the BFD: After fending off activist investors, which have pressed the company to explore strategic options, the toy conglomerate may now be taking a closer look at some of its entertainment assets.

Details: Citing sources familiar, Bloomberg wrote on Sunday that Hasbro has considered two options: "take existing staff and redirect it to make branded entertainment (think 'Peppa Pig' movies), and shut down work on projects like 'Yellowjackets' and 'Designated Survivor.' Or it can sell everything it doesn’t want."

Of note: Hasbro sold eOne Music to Blackstone for $385 million in 2021.

What they're saying: "Entertainment is a core foundation of Hasbro. As part of our strategic review process, we are always open to new and better ways to tell stories and bring people together through the power of play via our world-class family of brands," a Hasbro spokesperson tells Richard in an email.

  • Alta Fox's Connor Haley said he is "encouraged" that Hasbro is considering a sale of its entertainment unit, adding that it continues to "believe that divesting the eOne business — which was purchased at a significant premium" could unlock value for shareholders.

Flashback: After taking on the CEO role in February, Hasbro's Chris Cocks launched a strategic review.

  • "A major theme of this effort is focus and scale, focusing on fewer, bigger opportunities and scaling those with reinvestment to drive profitable growth and enhanced shareholder return," he said.

Yes, and: After successfully executing a turnaround of its own, longtime Hasbro rival Mattel held informal sale talks with PE firms, including Apollo Global Management and L Catterton, the Wall Street Journal reported in April.

The intrigue: Hasbro announced last week that Darren Throop, president and CEO of eOne, would step down later this year.

  • Throop was a potential pick for Hasbro CEO after Brian Goldner died last year. Instead, Wizards of the Coast president Chris Cocks took the helm.

What we're watching: Hasbro's investor day is Oct. 4, and Cocks has said he would provide "a more fulsome" update at that time.

Of note: Hasbro has worked with investment banks Centerview Partners and JPMorgan, the latter of which was the sole adviser on the sale of the eOne music business.

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