On Monday, April 26, Hasbro announced that they will be selling Entertainment One Music (eOne Music) in a definitive agreement worth an aggregate amount of $385 million (US) cash. The boards of directors of both Hasbro and Entertainment One Canada Limited agreed on the transaction, which is subject to “customary closing conditions and receipt of regulatory approvals.” The company is being acquired by investment firm Blackstone, which also owns music rights organization SESAC.
Following the deal, eOne Music will be run as its own separate organization. The company’s current global president and music industry veteran, Chris Taylor, will head the operation.
Said Hasbro chairman and CEO Brian Goldner in a statement about the sale:
“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.”
“I’m excited to continue to lead and grow this exceptional business,” said Taylor. “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.”
eOne Music began as Koch Entertainment, named for founder Michael Koch, in 1987. Koch sold the company in 2005 to Row Entertainment Income Fund in an $80 million deal. The name was subsequently changed to Entertainment One Income Fund, then shortened to Entertainment One. Hasbro, whose entertainment brands include Power Rangers, Monopoly, Magic: The Gathering, Nerf, Transformers and Play-Doh among others, purchased eOne Music in 2019 as part of its $4 billion acquisition of Entertainment One. The company was put up for sale several months ago.
eOne Music is home to the catalogs of several big name labels and artists, including Ace Frehley, Black Label Society and Pop Evil.
As part of the deal, Entertainment One Canada Limited will be selling their Canadian music arm.
Hasbro has said that profits from the sale of eOne Music will go towards paying down debt and “other general corporate purposes.” The deal is expected to close as soon as the second or third quarter of 2021.