Lionsgate says it has entered into an agreement to acquire toy company Hasbro’s studio division Entertainment One (eOne) for $500 million.
The deal includes $375 million in cash paid to Hasbro as well as various production financing loans that comprise the remainder of the balance.
While eOne may not have immediate name recognition to most TV and film fans, the studio has churned out several hit well-known series and movies, including the ABC crime drama “The Rookie,” medical procedural “Grey’s Anatomy,” Showtime thriller “Yellowjackets,” “Atomic Blonde,” “Green Book” and “Criminal Minds.”
“The acquisition of eOne checks off all the boxes in areas that play to our core strengths,” Jon Feltheimer, Lionsgate’s CEO, said in a statement on Thursday. “It will be immediately and highly accretive, adds a world-class library with thousands of properties, strengthens our scripted and unscripted television business and continues to expand our presence in Canada and the U.K.”
In addition to the U.S. series, eOne produces the CBC comedy “Son of a Critch,” which is now distributed stateside by the CW Network; the BBC production of “Ghosts” (Lionsgate produces an American spin-off that airs on CBS) and Channel 4’s “Motherland.”
Feltheimer said the deal came together following a “long-standing relationship with the immensely talented team at eOne, and it continues to build our position as one of the world’s leading independent content platforms with a stockpile of great intellectual properties and a unique, non-replicable portfolio of assets.”
The acquisition comes as Lionsgate is preparing to split its company between its production studio and its multiplex movie network and streaming service Starz. Lionsgate acquired Starz through a similar deal in 2016.