Peppa Pig owner Entertainment One rejects ITV’s £1bn takeover approach

Peppa Pig

Entertainment One, the owner of Peppa Pig, has rejected a £1bn takeover approach from ITV as too low, The Guardian.

The film and TV producer and distributor said it had received a preliminary proposal to buy the company for 236p a share, or £1.01bn in total.

Talk of a bid by ITV has pushed its shares up by more than a third since April when Entertainment One denied it had received an approach from the broadcaster.

In a statement to the stock exchange, Entertainment One said: “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.”

It is understood ITV has made the approach but Entertainment One did not identify the network in the statement.

Entertainment One shares rose 6% after the announcement, to 232p, having risen 10% to 217.5p on Tuesday on talk of a bid.

Entertainment One is based in Toronto but its shares are listed in London. It sells TV shows such as The Walking Dead and films including the Twilight and Hunger Games series. Its most high-profile asset is Peppa Pig – the top pre-school entertainment brand in the UK, Spain, Australia and Latin America.

In October, Entertainment One took control of the UK producer Astley Baker Davies, which created Peppa. The company suffered a setback in March when it announced disappointing box office sales of films including the Steve Jobs biopic.

ITV has been expanding its production capacity in an effort to reduce its reliance on the advertising market, and last year paid £355m to buy Talpa, maker of The Voice. Acquiring Entertainment One would further the strategy of the chief executive, Adam Crozier, who used to run Royal Mail.