US Toy Company Hasbro buys Entertainment One

Peppa Pig

The Story

Entertainment One is the latest UK-listed firm (although based in Canada) to be bought by a foreign investor. The US toy giant Hasbro purchased Entertainment One in a £3.3bn deal. Entertainment One owns some of the most popular children’s brands such as Peppa Pig and PJ Masks.

Hasbro is hoping to use this acquisition to diversify to more entertainment and pre-school offerings, compared to current profit drivers like Monopoly and Nerf guns. It’s a move reflecting the current trends of children’s entertainment becoming increasingly technology based.

Impact on Businesses and Law firms 

This transaction is another example of foreign investors jumping on the current low pound due to Brexit uncertainties. Indeed, the Guardian claimed that this deal was at a real “bargain price”. Only recently we saw Greene King, Cobham and Just Eat be acquired by international buyers.

While these transactions are of course founded on the political uncertainty that Britain is facing, it is interesting to note that it further underlines the long-term optimism that these investors have in the prospects of British companies.

This acquisition is also particularly interesting in the context of the increasingly tense streaming war between Netflix, Amazon, Apple and Disney. These four are constantly trying to establish their own exclusive content to differentiate themselves between each other. Therefore, Hasbro can be confident that there may be a future buyer for its new IP, as perhaps Apple or Amazon tries to catch-up with the original content that Netflix and Disney are currently boasting.

IP lawyers will have been on hand to establish the value of this property and the limitations of its use. Likewise, M&A lawyers will be being used centrally, while deploying the more specific expertise from departments like employment, real estate and tax.

By Lewis James

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