Entertainment One rejects ITV takeover bid

The Canadian producer and distributor has declined the U.K. media company's US$1.3 billion offer.
August 10, 2016

Confirming rumors from earlier this spring that ITV was interested in acquiring Toronto-headquartered Entertainment One, news emerged today that eOne has rejected a takeover bid by the U.K. producer-broadcaster.

In a statement released Wednesday, ITV confirmed it had made a proposal to the board of eOne to acquire the company for £1 billion (US$1.3 billion).

In a note to shareholders explaining the rejection of the bid, eOne said the proposal “fundamentally undervalues the company and its prospects.”

The Canadian media company’s shares jumped overnight and as of press time, were trading at more than 237 pence per share.

In its response to the rejection, ITV stated that the proposal “represents a significant premium over the undisturbed eOne share price, prior to the impact of recent bid speculation.” The company used the opportunity to emphasize its growth strategy, which it says is focusing on international distribution opportunities and U.S. scripted content, both of which eOne is particularly strong in, especially following its 2015 acquisition of a majority stake in the L.A.-based Mark Gordon Company.

EOne has also been active in acquiring unscripted prodcos over the past two years, with recent purchases including majority stakes in Naked and Afraid producer Renegade 83, and Canadian prodcos Paperny Entertainment and Force Four Entertainment.

(From Playback Daily, with files from Barry Walsh)

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.