Thursday, October 01, 2015

Entertainment One Takes Controlling Stake In "Peppa Pig"; 52 Brand-New Episodes To Be Produced; Ladybird Books Releases "Peppa's Post" Book

Entertainment One (eOne), headquartered in Canada, is increasing its ownership of beloved preschool franchise "Peppa Pig" by entering into an agreement with "Peppa Pig" co-owners Astley Baker Davies (ABD) to purchase a controlling stake in the global brand. As part of the deal, creators, directors and producers Mark Baker, Neville Astley and Phil Davies will produce an additional 52 magical episodes of "Peppa Pig"!

The deal underpins eOne's content ownership strategy. Since 2007, "Peppa Pig" has been co-owned and distributed globally by eOne. With the new episodes of "Peppa Pig" in production, eOne says it will "look to maximise value through the centralised and holistic management of the brand's worldwide exploitation across all platforms".

The price tag for the deal is $212 million (£140 million). The company said it will use a rights issue to raise $293.3 million (£193.6 million) to fund the deal and related expenses.

The planned acquisition will increase its "interest in the related share of earnings from the exploitation of "Peppa Pig" from 50 percent to 85 percent," and Astley Baker Davies will become a subsidiary of the company, meaning its financials will be fully consolidated, Entertainment one said.

Darren Throop, President & Chief Executive Officer, Entertainment One said: ""Peppa Pig" has emerged as a worldwide phenomenon and reflects the success of our 10 year partnership working with the creative genius of Mark, Nev and Phil. Now the number one pre-school property in the UK, Australia, Spain, Italy, Mexico and Brazil, and a leader in major territories around the world, the growth opportunities for Peppa are significant.

"Our family and licensing teams have an unparalleled knowledge of the brand and an impassioned belief in its global potential. As we continue to expand in the US, Asia and throughout our existing markets, we are excited to enter into new markets and take Peppa to new heights."

ABD has produced more than 200 episodes over six series of "Peppa Pig", which have been broadcast in over 180 territories around the world, including Nick Jr. UK & Ireland, Nick Jr. USA and Nick Jr. Australia & New Zealand. It took home BAFTA's in 2005, 2011 and 2012, and has been awarded numerous other accolades.

A spokesperson for ABD said: "In our many years working together, Entertainment One has gone above and beyond as committed and dedicated partners. Peppa is so close to our hearts and she touches the lives of so many families around the world. With eOne's knowledge of Peppa and their extensive distribution network, we see so much more potential for Peppa and our work together."

In additional "Peppa Pig" news, Ladybird Books has released a new "Peppa Pig" title reminiscent of Janet and Allan Ahlberg's popular "The Jolly Postman"!

The new book, titled "Peppa Pig: Peppa's Post", features an array of exclusive letters, postcards, games, fancy dress items and maps.

"Peppa Pig: Peppa's Post" arrived on shelves today, Thursday 1st October 2015.

Sources: Toys 'n' Playthings, The Hollywood Reporter, License! Global (II), Toy World Magazine, Licensing Source.
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