|Revenue||£941.2 million (2019)|
|Subsidiaries||See § Divisions|
Entertainment One Ltd., commonly abbreviated as eOne, is an American-owned multinational entertainment company. Based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, the company is primarily involved in the acquisition, distribution, and production of films and television series. The company was listed on the London Stock Exchange before it was acquired by Hasbro on December 30, 2019.
The company has its origins in the music distributor Records on Wheels Limited (which was established in 1970), and the music retail chain CD Plus. The chain was in the process of acquiring other companies to bolster its wholesale operations in music and home video, leading to its purchase of ROW in 2001. Its vice president of operations, Darren Throop, had joined the company after CD Plus acquired his Halifax-based record store chain Urban Sound Exchange. The combined company later became known as ROW Entertainment, with Throop as president and CEO. The company listed itself on the Toronto Stock Exchange as an income trust, meaning that its taxes were paid by its shareholders, rather than the company itself.
Afterward, ROW began to diversify its operations into content ownership. In June 2005, it acquired the American independent music distributor and home entertainment publisher Koch Entertainment. Afterwards, it was re-incorporated as Entertainment One Income Fund.
In 2007, the company accepted a $188 million public equity takeover by Marwyn Investment Management to fund its expansion; the company was listed on London's Alternative Investment Market as Entertainment One Ltd.
In 2007, Entertainment One acquired Montreal-based film distributor Seville Pictures and UK distributor Contender Entertainment Group. The same year, the company secured its first film output agreement with Summit Entertainment, handling distribution in Canada and the United Kingdom, and acquired British film distributor Contender Entertainment. Acquisitions continued in 2008 with the purchase of the Benelux distributor RCV Entertainment. The same year, eOne acquired the television studios Blueprint and Barna-Alper, and international television distributor Oasis International. Throop stated that the company was attempting to "replicate the success of Alliance Atlantis", with a focus on diversifying into production alongside distribution. Also in 2008, the company listed itself on the London Stock Exchange.
In April 2011, eOne acquired Australian distribution company Hopscotch for £12.9 million. On May 28, 2012, eOne placed a bid to purchase the Canadian film distributor Alliance Films from Goldman Sachs Group and Investissement Québec. The deal was completed on January 9, 2013, giving eOne Canadian distribution rights for titles from The Weinstein Company, Lionsgate, CBS Films, FilmDistrict and Focus Features. On May 28, 2014, eOne announced a strategic investment in interactive agency Secret Location; the firm would continue to operate independently under the leadership of James Milward (President, Executive Producer and Founder), and partners Pietro Gagliano (Creative Director and SVP) and Ryan Andal (Technical Director and SVP). On June 2, 2014, eOne acquired Phase 4 Films; its CEO Berry Meyerowitz was named as head of eOne's U.S. film distribution business and North American family entertainment business. On July 17, the company acquired Paperny Entertainment. On August 28, 2014, eOne acquired Force Four Entertainment.
On January 5, 2015, eOne acquired a 51% stake in Mark Gordon's self-named studio, with an option to acquire the remainder at a later date. The purchase was part of an effort by eOne to bolster its presence in the United States. On September 9, 2015, eOne revived the Momentum Pictures brand (which was previously used by Alliance UK) and announced that it had entered into a multi-picture deal with Orion Pictures to jointly acquire films for "specialized theatrical releases" in the U.S., and targeted international releases, focusing on ancillary and digital distribution.
Marwyn Investment Management sold its 18% stake in Entertainment One to the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) on September 16, 2015.
On September 30, 2015, eOne acquired a 70% stake in British animation studio Astley Baker Davies—producers of the animated children's series Peppa Pig. On December 16, 2015, eOne, Steven Spielberg, Reliance Entertainment, and Participant Media officially announced a joint venture known as Amblin Partners. eOne served as an investor, while the majority of its films would be distributed by Universal Pictures.
On January 7, 2016, eOne made a strategic investment in Sierra Pictures and on January 20, 2016, the company acquired Dualtone Music Group. On March 8, 2016, eOne the acquired music recording, publishing and artist management company Last Gang, and announced that its founder Chris Taylor would join the company as president of music. In 2016, eOne acquired a majority stake in unscripted production company Renegade 83.
In February 2016, Entertainment One reached a home media distribution deal with 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment to release eOne's titles on DVD and Blu-ray in the UK.
On August 10, 2016, eOne rejected an offer to be acquired by British television broadcaster ITV plc for £1 billion ($1.3 billion US). eOne considered the offer to be "fundamentally undervalued".
On August 17, 2016, eOne announced that it would acquire Secret Location outright for an undisclosed amount. On September 12, 2016, eOne announced its acquisition of UK-based music management company Hardlivings. That same year, eOne acquired music management company Nerve.
On September 9, 2016, eOne reached a first look co-financing and international distribution deal with Tucker Tooley's Tooley Productions.
In 2016, eOne entered into an agreement with Ole (now Anthem Entertainment) to administer its catalogue.
eOne consolidated its film and television studios into a single structure in 2017, as part of an effort to reposition its operations towards production rather than acquisitions and "large output deals".
In May 2017, eOne joined with Hollywood producer Brad Weston to launch global content creation studio MAKEREADY. The deal secured distribution rights for eOne in its territories and Universal in all other territories worldwide.
In 2017, eOne joined Participant Media, Reliance Entertainment, Alibaba Pictures and Universal Pictures in backing Amblin Partners, a content creation company led by Steven Spielberg.
On January 29, 2018, eOne acquired the remaining 49% in The Mark Gordon Co., and Gordon was named eOne's new president and chief content officer of film, television and digital.
In March 2018, eOne acquired live entertainment company Round Room Live, which organizes major tours including PJ Masks among others.
In April 2018, eOne acquired UK non-scripted production company Whizz Kid Entertainment. Later that year, eOne joined a round of investment in Jeffrey Katzenberg's short-form digital content venture "NewTV" (later renamed Quibi).
On March 5, 2019, eOne's Benelux division was acquired by a new company named WW Entertainment, founded by Wilco Wolfers and Caspar Wenckebach. As a result, all eOne Benelux titles, including future releases, have since moved to WW. Later that month, Entertainment One ended their home media distribution agreement with 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment following Fox's purchase by The Walt Disney Company on March 20, 2019. eOne reached an agreement with Universal Pictures Home Entertainment to handle home media distribution of its films and television series in Australia, Canada, Germany, Spain, New Zealand, the US, and the UK.
In 2019, eOne acquired UK-based unscripted company Daisybeck Studios. That same year, eOne acquired American long-form nonfiction producer BLACKFIN. Also in 2019, eOne Music acquired Audio Network, a British company involved in the production of music for film and television, for $215 million.
Since listing on the London Stock Exchange's AIM submarket, eOne has made a series of acquisitions.
On August 22, 2019, American toy and media company Hasbro announced that it had reached an agreement to acquire Entertainment One for US$4 billion. Throop cited that its goals to "unlock the power and value of creativity" were "[aligned] with Hasbro's corporate objectives", and would be enhanced by access to Hasbro's properties and merchandising capabilities. eOne's Canadian operations will be structured in such a way as to maintain eligibility for Canadian content classification. The deal was approved by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. On November 21, 2019, the United Kingdom's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced that it would investigate the purchase under British competition law, to determine if it would result in a lessening of competition. The sale was completed on December 30, 2019, with the company becoming a wholly owned subsidiary of the company. Throop remains CEO of eOne, reporting to Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner. The UK CMA cleared the acquisition the following month. In April 2020, eOne had in early development (scripting) of its first Hasbro-related film, an untitled Transformers animated film.
In October 2020, eOne took over as Hasbro's new production arm and began development and distribution of content based on properties from the toy company, resulting in Allspark being absorbed into the acquired company. On February 10, 2021, it was announced that Hasbro would be laying off 10% of its Film and TV division.
In April 2021, eOne announced that it would sell its music division, now renamed as MNRK Music Group, to The Blackstone Group for $385 million.
The film division was initially involved primarily in acquiring films for international distribution, but has since shifted its resources towards producing and funding its own films.
eOne Films was formed in 2007, and acquired the Montreal-based Séville Pictures soon afterwards. In 2012, the company announced that it would acquire Alliance Films for CDN$225 million, which also added the assets of Maple Pictures and Momentum Pictures to its holdings. eOne has also handled the Canadian distribution rights to the Miramax library, as well as the pre-2005 Dimension Films library.
In May 2015, eOne consolidated its film production and international sales units into a new unit known as eOne Features, with a goal to self-produce and finance six-to-eight films per-year. On December 16, 2015, it was announced that eOne would be an investor in Amblin Partners, a joint venture between Steven Spielberg, Reliance Entertainment, Participant Media, and Universal Pictures. One of the first film projects under this banner was 2015's Eye in the Sky.
On September 23, 2016, Xavier Dolan's eOne-distributed film Juste la fin du monde was announced as Canada's entry in the Best Foreign Language Film category for the 89th Academy Awards.
In January 2019, Universal Pictures acquired eOne's Australian and New Zealand self-distribution division. eOne distributed Universal's Best Picture winner Green Book in 2019. eOne has also distributed Best Picture winner Spotlight and Best Picture nominee 1917.
In 2020, eOne was the top distributor in the UK, taking around 15.3% of the total market.
eOne Television (formerly Barna-Alper Productions) is a television production company founded in 1980 and based in Toronto, Ontario. In April 2005, the company launched a distribution division, Barna-Alper Releasing. Entertainment One acquired Barna-Alper Productions Inc., Blueprint Entertainment, and distributor Oasis International in July 2008 to expand its television production and distribution capabilities. As part of a company-wide rebrand, the three companies were folded into E1 Television in January 2009.
Notable television series distributed or produced by eOne and its subsidiaries have included the three Ilana Frank-produced series Burden of Truth, Rookie Blue and Saving Hope, Bitten, The Book of Negroes, Border Security: Canada's Front Line, Call Me Fitz, Cardinal, Criminal Minds, Designated Survivor, Haven, Klondike, Mary Kills People, Naked and Afraid, Private Eyes, The Rookie, Siesta Key, The Walking Dead, and the HBO series Hung, Run, and Sharp Objects.
In 2013, eOne reached an agreement with AMC Networks to handle the international distribution of its original scripted productions, beginning with Halt and Catch Fire. The agreement expanded on existing pacts for the eOne-produced Hell on Wheels, and international distribution for The Walking Dead. The pact ended in May 2019 (with AMC having since expanded its in-house distribution business), although it will continue to handle international distribution for existing series, as well as The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead.
eOne's Family & Brands division deals primarily in family-oriented intellectual property, including development, distribution, licensing, and marketing. The division has been seen growth credited to retail sales, licensing deals, and programming sales to broadcasters, accounting for US$202 million in revenue in 2018. It represented a year-over-year increase of 28%, with Peppa Pig and PJ Masks alone accounting for $114.9 million and $75.8 million respectively.
After making an investment in the company in 2014, eOne acquired the Toronto-based digital content studio Secret Location in 2016, which specializes in virtual and augmented reality experiences. In 2015, Secret Location won a Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Award in "Outstanding User Experience and Visual Design" for a tie-in to the drama series Sleepy Hollow. In 2020, the studio's first VR film The Great C won the Positron Visionary Award for Best Cinematic VR Experience at the 2020 Cannes XR Film Festival. That same year, Secret Location won the Outstanding Media Innovation Award by the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television.
Below is a list of productions eOne has been involved with either through production and/or distribution:
Below is a list of Secret Location VR games: