Distrib operates in Canada, the U.K., Benelux, Australia
Just as Entertainment One is starting to make a splash in the U.S., the production-distribution company is fielding acquisition offers.Entertainment One, which has offices in London, Toronto and Los Angeles, issued a statement Wednesday confirming that it has received acquisition overtures. EOne said its board “is considering its strategic options, which may include a sale of the company in response to interest it has received from various parties.” Reports suggest that the interest comes from private equity players. The company has appointed JP Morgan and Credit Suisse as its advisers. EOne has become more visibile in the U.S. TV landscape in the past few years as a producer or co-producer of series including ABC’s “Rookie Blue,” HBO’s “Hung,” AMC’s upcoming “Hell on Wheels” and NBC’s midseason legal drama “The Firm.” The company is one of only a handful of indies with the resources to deficit finance projects. Earlier this month, eOne signaled its intent to bolster its U.S. film presence with the appointment of former Screen Gems exec Benedict Carver as senior veep of film entertainment, based out of its L.A. office. EOne also has theatrical distribution operations in Canada, the U.K., Benelux and Australia, where it recently acquired Hopscotch. The company has an output deal through 2015 with Summit Entertainment for the U.K. and Canada under which it distributes the “Twilight” franchise. It owns and distributes worldwide a substantial library of TV programming, including the preschool show “Peppa Pig,” which airs on Nick Jr. in the U.S. EOne, founded in Canada, is 39.4% owned by U.K. hedge fund Marwyn, with 47% listed on the stock market. It reported sales of $741 million in the year to March, with adjusted pre-tax profits on continuing operations of $51 million.