ITV abandons its plans to bid £1 billion for Entertainment One

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ITV has canned plans to bid more than £1 billion for Peppa Pig TV producer and film distributor Entertainment One. 

The commercial broadcaster said it “continues to believe in the strategic logic and potential benefits of acquiring eOne but has a clear view of the value of the business”. 

But it added that the value it had in mind was not high enough to get the board of eOne talking. 

This is the second putative  £1 billion-plus takeover bid to collapse this summer. 

A week ago Rank and 888 gave up on their £3.2 billion attempt to forge a three-way merger with bookies William Hill.

ITV originally said it had offered 236p for each eOne share, valuing the group, which also distributes films like BFG and is reviving The Chronicles of Narnia with Dreamworks, at £1.03 billion. 

That approach was rejected by eOne’s board, including its largest shareholder the Canadian Pension Plan.

ITV has been rapidly expanding its production business as it cuts its reliance on the variable revenues it receives from UK advertising. 

Last year eOne bought 51% of Mark Gordon’s US production company, which made the TV series Grey’s Anatomy and the films Steve Jobs and Saving Private Ryan. 

EOne shares tumbled 13%, or 32p, to 219p. ITV shares rose 3.1p to 204.9p. Analysts said eOne could still be a bid target, with KKR reported to have shown an interest in the business.

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August 25, 2016 |
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