ITV faces competition for eOne

itvUS-based private-equity firm KKR & Co has emerged as the latest suitor of transatlantic producer and distributor Entertainment One (eOne) following a failed bid from UK broadcaster ITV last week. New York’s KKR is considering a proposal for the Peppa Pig owner, according to Bloomberg, although no formal decision has been made.

It comes after ITV tabled a bid last week valuing the company at just over £1bn (US$1.3bn), which was swiftly rejected for “fundamentally” undervaluing the company and its prospects.
ITV said the £2.36-per-share proposal represented “a significant premium over the undisturbed eOne share price, prior to the impact of recent bid speculation.”
Other reports over the weekend suggested ITV would be prepared to up its bid to around £2.80 per share, which comes off the back of ongoing takeover speculation.

eOne’s share price, which plummeted in December last year, has soared over recent weeks on the back of the news and was up by almost 7% this morning.
The company’s annual results, revealed in May, were buoyed by its TV interests and the success of Peppa Pig, despite continued losses at its film division.
It has also benefited from Canadian tax incentives, something that could change should the company’s domicile be relocated after a buyout, according to reports over the weekend.

The company, which has offices in Toronto and LA and is listed in London, has been pursuing a strategy to double in size since 2014 and has bought a number of firms over recent years, including Peppa Pig producer Astley Baker Davies and The Mark Gordon Company.

eOne made no comment when contacted by C21, while KKR could not be reached prior to press time.

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