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eOne takes controlling stake in Astley Baker Davies

In a deal worth US$212 million, Entertainment One has taken a 70% controlling stake in London-based animation studio Astley Baker Davies, creator of the billion-dollar Peppa Pig property.
September 30, 2015

Britain’s beloved piglet is bound for future growth – including new TV episodes and a bolstered retail presence – following Canada-based Entertainment One taking a 70% controlling stake in London-based animation studio Astley Baker Davies, creator of the billion-dollar preschool property.

The deal, worth £140 million (US$212 million), increases eOne’s earnings share interest in Peppa sales from 50% to 85%. eOne and ABD had been splitting existing Peppa revenues 50/50, which  have been generated predominantly through licensing royalties across a number of categories, including toys, clothing and DVDs.

Since 2007, eOne has co-owned the Peppa Pig property with ABD and has handled its international distribution and licensing. With this new deal, 52 new episodes of Peppa Pig will be produced by creators, producers and directors Mark Baker, Neville Astley and Phil Davies.

ABD has so far produced more than 200 episodes of Peppa Pig, which has aired in more 180 territories to date. Additionally, Peppa Pig has upwards of 700 licensing agreements in place around the world that generate more than US$1 billion in retail sales per year, according to eOne.

ABD also produces - and eOne also licenses and distributes - Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom, which is slated to make its US debut on Nick Jr. on October 5. Nick has acquired seasons one and two (totaling 52 episodes) of the preschool series and will continue to roll out new episodes this fall.  

“The Group believes that there is a significant growth opportunity in the continued exploitation of Peppa Pig by entry into new markets, including continued expansion into the US, as well as further content and merchandising exploitation opportunities which the Group believes will yield a high cash flow conversion,” eOne stated in its filing to the London Stock Exchange.

With files from Julianna Cummins, Playback

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