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
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for HMV.com. As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.