Peppa Pig owner Entertainment One rejects ITV takeover offer

The Peppa Pig owner said its board ‘unanimously rejected it on the basis that it fundamentally undervalues the company and its prospects’

Shares of Entertainment One have soared 37 per cent since reports that ITV was pursuing a takeover
Shares of Entertainment One have soared 37 per cent since reports that ITV was pursuing a takeover

Entertainment One, the Canadian company that owns the rights to popular preschool cartoon character Peppa Pig, said it rejected a takeover offer for 236 pence a share as too low.

“The board of eOne has reviewed the proposal and has unanimously rejected it on the basis that it fundamentally undervalues the company and its prospects,” Entertainment One said Wednesday in a statement, without identifying the bidder.

The rejected offer is 8.5 per cent above Entertainment One’s closing price of 217.50 pence Tuesday in London.

Shares of Entertainment One have soared 37 per cent since Bloomberg News reported in April that broadcaster ITV was pursuing a takeover.

Peppa Pig would bring to ITV a franchise with nearly £770m in worldwide retail sales in 2015, and further the London-based broadcaster’s expansion into production as it reduces its reliance on network advertising.

ITV, known for shows including Downton Abbey, Mr Selfridge, and long-running soap opera Coronation Street, has sought to bolster its production and distribution arm and expand beyond the UK.

A year ago, it bought Talpa Media Holding BV, the maker of The Voice reality singing show, and Mammoth Screen, which produces the drama Poldark.

Entertainment One distributes TV and films in Canada, Australia, the UK and US and several European countries and has worked with titles including this year’s Academy-award winner Spotlight, Fear the Walking Dead and The Hateful Eight.

The Toronto-based company last year raised its stake in Astley Baker Davies, the creator and producer of Peppa Pig.

Shares of Entertainment One rose 10 per cent to 217.5 pence in London Tuesday, valuing the company at £929 million ($1.1bn). ITV fell 0.4 per cent to 198.70 pence for a market value of £8bn.

© 2016 Bloomberg L.P​

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