Activist investor asks Hasbro to sell Entertainment One – Digital TV Europe

An activist investor at Hasbro reportedly told the toymaker to sell multinational entertainment company Entertainment One (eOne).

According to a letter obtained by the WSJ, Ancora Holdings – which owns a 1% stake in Hasbro – said it wants the company to consider a full or partial sale to reduce debt. The letter also asks Hasbro to replace a number of longtime administrators.

The letter goes on to claim that the Entertainment One divestiture could generate US$2 billion for the company while resulting in tax benefits. He also argues that eOne doesn’t fit well into Hasbro’s overall business and that he could use the proceeds from a sale elsewhere.

Hasbro reached an agreement to acquire eOne in late 2019 for US$3.8 billion, with the closing of the case at the beginning of 2020. It has seen the toymaker gain such lucrative properties as the global phenomenon that is Peppa Pigand added to a library that contains IP, including My little Pony, Transformers and Monopoly.

Ancora isn’t the only Hasbro stakeholder pushing for change at the company. Fellow activist investor Alta Fox Capital Management last week called on Hasbro to oust two directors and chairman Richard S. Stoddart, while also splitting its Unit of the Wizards of the Coast. That appeal was denied by Hasbro, but Ancora also said it should explore publisher alternatives for Dungeons & Dragons and Magic: The Gathering.

Mary I. Bruner