Entertainment One today announced it has acquired a 70% stake in Peppa Pig producer Astley Baker Davies worth $212 million. The two companies already co-owned the animated cash cow- or is that pig- beloved of children around the world and the adventures of Peppa and her family. eOne said Wednesday it had issued $293 million in shares to finance the deal, which values Astley Baker Davies at 11.6 times its current Ebidta (earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortization). By way of comparison, eOne paid an Ebitda multiple of less than nine when it acquired the Mark Gordon Company in January.
“eOne has entered into an agreement with Peppa Pig co-owners Astley Baker Davies to purchase a controlling stake in the global brand,” said eOne in a statement. “As part of the deal, creators, directors and producers Mark Baker, Neville Astley and Phil Davies are producing an additional 52 magical episodes of Peppa Pig.”
Shares in eOne fell 8.75% Wednesday morning on news of the deal.
Astley Baker Davies was founded by Mark Baker, Phil Davies, Neville Astley, who created the Peppa Pig character in the late 1990s. Prior to today’s deal, the trio had been the sole shareholders. Royalties from sales and merchandise will now be split 85-15 in favor of eOne. It had previously been 50-50 between the three men and their corporate partner. The two have worked together since 2007, when eOne began distributing the show globally and retaining a co-ownership stake. Over 200 episodes of Peppa Pig have been produced with the show aired in over 180 territories, including Nickolodeon JR in the U.S. eOne president and chief exec Darren Throop believes that further growth of the brand internationally is not only possible but, “the growth opportunities for Peppa are significant.”