Music business

Hasbro sells eOne music business for $385 million

Hasbro has announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell Entertainment One Music (widely known as eOne Music) for a total price of $385 million in cash.

The transaction has been approved by the Board of Directors of Hasbro and Entertainment One Canada and is subject to customary closing conditions and receipt of regulatory approvals. The property has been on the market for several months.

eOne Music will be acquired by entities controlled by Blackstone, which also owns performance rights organization SESAC. Following the closing of the transaction, eOne Music will operate as a separate business unit led by its current Global President Chris Taylor, and “will be focused on building a leading designer music brand with global scale and expertise,” according to the announcement. eOne was acquired by Hasbro for $4 billion in 2019, largely for the synergies offered by its hit film and TV unit, which includes hits such as “Peppa Pig” and “PJ Masks.”

eOne’s music roster includes back catalogs from 90s rap giant Death Row, Dualtone Records, Canadian indie Last Gang as well as tracks from the Lumineers, The Game, Ace Frehley, Brandy, Chuck Berry, En Vogue, Ghostface Killah, the Strumbellas, RZA, and others, though not all were direct signings.

“This transaction will ensure that eOne Music is well positioned to unlock great opportunities for its many talented artists and partners, as Hasbro continues to focus on the core strategic elements of our brand plan to further strengthen our position as a goal-oriented game and entertainment. business. On behalf of the Board of Directors and management of Hasbro, I would like to acknowledge the strong leadership of Chris Taylor and the entire eOne Music organization,” said Brian Goldner, President and CEO of Hasbro.

“I am thrilled to continue to lead and grow this exceptional company. We want the creative community to know that we work hard to make sure it only benefits them and the work we do together. I also want to thank Brian Goldner and Hasbro for their support and partnership,” Taylor said.

According to the announcement, Hasbro intends to use its net proceeds from the sale to accelerate deleveraging and other general corporate goals.

As part of the transaction, Entertainment One Canada Limited will sell the Canadian music division.

JP Morgan is acting as exclusive financial advisor to Hasbro on the transaction, Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP, Mayer Brown International LLP and Stikeman Elliott LLP are acting as legal advisors to Hasbro and Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP are acting as advisors of Entertainment One Canada Limited.

Subject to customary closing conditions and receipt of regulatory approvals, the transaction is expected to close in the second or third quarter of 2021.