Hasbro, Inc. announced on Monday (April 26) that it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell Entertainment One Music (eOne Music) for an aggregate price of US$385 million in cash. The transaction has been approved by the board of directors of Hasbro and Entertainment One Canada Limited, and is subject to customary closing conditions and receipt of regulatory approvals. eOne Music will be acquired by entities controlled by Blackstone, which also owns SESAC, a leading music rights organization. Subsequent to the closing of the transaction, eOne Music will operate as a separate business unit headed by its current global president, music industry veteran Chris Taylor, and will focus on building a creator-first music brand with global scale and expertise. Purchased by Hasbro in 2019 as part of its acquisition of Entertainment One, eOne Music is a leading independent music business.
eOne's music assets include recordings by Ace Frehley, BLACK LABEL SOCIETY and POP EVIL.
Brian Goldner, Hasbro's chairman and CEO, said: "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 blueprint to further strengthen our position as a purpose‐led play and entertainment company. On behalf of the board and Hasbro management, I want to recognize the strong leadership of Chris Taylor and the entire eOne Music organization."
Taylor said: "I'm excited to continue to lead and grow this exceptional business. We want the creative community to know that we are focused on making sure that this only benefits them and the work we do together. I also want to thank Brian Goldner and Hasbro for their support and partnership."
Hasbro intends to use its net proceeds from the sale to accelerate deleveraging and other general corporate purposes.
As part of the transaction, Entertainment One Canada Limited will sell the Canadian music division.
Subject to customary closing conditions and receipt of regulatory approvals, the transaction is expected to close in the second or third quarter of 2021.
eOne generates about $120 million in annual revenue, according to the company's 2019 financial report. The music operation began life in 1987 as Koch Entertainment, with founder Michael Koch selling the company in 2005 to the Row Entertainment Income Fund for about $80 million. The fund subsequently changed its name to Entertainment One Income Fund and then simply Entertainment One.