Toymaker Hasbro is already trying to sell off eOne — or at least, the part of eOne that is “not directly supporting the Company’s Branded Entertainment strategy.” Hasbro, Inc. purchased Entertainment One for $3.8 billion in cash in December 2019.
Hasbro says that even with a sale of these particular TV and film pieces, it will “maintain the capability to develop and produce animation, digital shorts, scripted TV and theatrical films for audiences related to core Hasbro IP.”
Put simply, Hasbro wants to sell the parts of eOne that produces “The Woman King,” “Yellowjackets,” “The Rookie,” and “Naked & Afraid,” but keep the Transformers and Peppa Pig stuff. As a matter of fact, Hasbro plans to “significantly increase” its investment in its key brands, which also include Dungeons & Dragons, Magic: The Gathering, My Little Pony, Power Rangers, Play-Doh, Monopoly, and Clue. This sale could fund exactly that initiative. It could also help make Hasbro’s very ambitious goal of growing profitability by 50 percent over the next three years.
Last month, Hasbro announced a doc celebrating the 50th anniversary of Dungeons & Dragons is in development, as well as a big budget fantasy film starring Chris Pine, “Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves,” opening in March via Paramount. Hasbro also has a Play-Doh competition series hosted by “Modern Family” star Sarah Hyland at Amazon Freevee and a new “Transformers” movie in the works. And many of their other brands all have various projects in development, including movies based on Monopoly, Clue, Play-Doh, Magic: the Gathering, and a sequel to “Clifford The Big Red Dog,” among others. Though of projects not related to toys, eOne was a producer on “Wildflower” that debuted at this year’s TIFF and an upcoming sequel to the Gerard Butler action film “Den of Thieves.”
“Following our recent Investor Day where we introduced our new branded entertainment strategy, Blueprint 2.0, we received inbound interest from several parties for the part of the eOne television and film business that while valuable is not core to our go-forward strategy. This interest informed our decision to explore a sale process,” Chris Cocks, Hasbro’s CEO, explained in a statement. “The acquisition of eOne delivered fantastic talent, top tier production and deal making capability and beloved brands with strong toyetic potential including Peppa Pig. We will retain these terrific capabilities while exploring the best way to maximize the value of the eOne TV & Film Business for the benefit of our shareholders.
“As we execute Blueprint 2.0 with a focus on strategic investment in key franchise brands like D&D, Peppa Pig and Transformers, we plan to expand our entertainment offerings across scripted TV, digital shorts, and blockbuster films,” he continued. “We look forward to delighting audiences of all ages as we focus on delivering truly market-leading Hasbro-IP related entertainment.”
Hasbro already sold off eOne’s music business for $385 million in June 2021.