eOne cancels sales plans

The Canadian company says it is looking into possible "acquisition opportunities" as part of its ongoing strategic review.
February 13, 2012

Entertainment One has ditched plans to sell the company outright.

The Toronto-based producer, in its latest trading update issued Monday (February 13) to the London Stock Exchange, said its strategic options now do not include a formal sale of the entire company.

“The board has considered various proposals that have been made for all or parts of the group and has concluded that these do not adequately reflect the company’s value,” eOne said in a statement Monday. “As such, the board is no longer considering the outright sale of the business.”

The company hired Credit Suisse and JP Morgan last September to sort through possible formal bids as part of a strategic review for the company after it pointed to buyer “interest.” British press reports indicated eOne could fetch a price tag nearing £400 million (US$631.5 million) on the strength of its British TV property Peppa Pig.

But that buyer interest never amounted to a formal bid that met eOne’s sales expectations. Now the company insists it is eying possible “acquisition opportunities” as part of its ongoing strategic review, again with Credit Suisse and JP Morgan advising.

“Further announcements will be made in due course, as required,” the company said. The trading update for October 1 to February 10 also indicated eOne will report full-year results “in line with market consensus.”

The company said film revenues were up 15% on the previous year for the nine months period on a pro-forma basis. eOne’s TV division also saw revenue grow 39% year-on-year.

The company’s wholesale distribution business continues to weigh down its earnings, as its Canadian home entertainment retail business saw revenue for the nine months to December 31, 2011 drop by 14% year-on-year.

Stock in eOne fell by 16% to 166 pence (US$2.60) on the London Stock Exchange during trading on Monday.


About The Author
Managing editor with realscreen publication, an international print and online magazine that covers the non-fiction film and television industries. Darah is an award-winning journalist who has spent over two decades covering a wide range of issues from real estate and urban development to immigration, politics and human rights, primarily with The Vancouver Sun. Prior to joining realscreen, she was editor of Stream Daily, realscreen's sister publication covering the dynamic global digital video industry. She also served a stint as a war reporter in Afghanistan for television and print, and was a national business blogger with Yahoo Canada.