Buyers circle Peppa Pig owner Entertainment One

Mon, 15 Aug 2016 | BUSINESS SALE

Private equity outfit KKR & Co is one of many parties mulling the idea of putting in a bid for preschool cartoon character Peppa Pig owner Entertainment One Ltd, following a rejected bid from ITV.

British broadcaster ITV's bid valued Entertainment One at £1 billion, but the firm rejected the offer as it undervalued the company, which holds a massive collection of rights including over 40,000 film and TV titles, 4,500 hours of television programming and 45,000 music tracks. Entertainment One says its rights alone are worth over £774.2 million, having been valued independently last year.

It is understood that KKR has not made a decision on whether to put in a bid. Formerly known as Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, the US buyout firm owns Pets at Home, Toys R Us and Trainline. It is thought the company has been in talks with Entertainment One's largest shareholder, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board. The shareholder, which has a 20 per cent holding and a seat on the board, supported the rest of the board's decision to reject ITV's offer.

Buying Entertainment One would enable KKR to expand its reach into media and entertainment, an area it has been looking to grow into.

Entertainment One's shares have jumped following reports from Bloomberg News of ITV's intention to make a bid back in April.

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