Business

ITV withdraws bid for Peppa Pig owner

Peppa Pig Image copyright PA

ITV has withdrawn its £1bn offer to buy Entertainment One, the company that makes the Peppa Pig TV programme.

ITV said it still believed in the logic of the deal but that the value it placed on the company was different to Entertainment One's.

Entertainment One had previously rejected the offer, saying it undervalued the firm.

Shares in the company dropped 13% following the news that ITV had abandoned its pursuit of the firm.

Speculation about a takeover had led to a rise in the Canada-based firm's share price.

Entertainment One owns more than 40,000 film and television titles, including last year's Oscar-winning Spotlight and AMC drama Fear the Walking Dead.

The popular children's animation Peppa Pig has taken the market by storm.

In all, the company has 4,500 hours of TV programming and 45,000 music tracks. Its library is valued at more than $1bn.

ITV had offered 236p a share for the company, valuing it at more than £1bn.

Private equity firm KKR were reportedly also interested in buying Entertainment One.

Price is wrong

In a statement withdrawing its bid ITV said that while it believed in the "strategic logic and potential benefits" of buying Entertainment One, the issue was the price they were willing to pay.

"It appears this value is different to the level at which the Board of eOne would currently engage in a more formal process," the statement said.

"ITV just wasn't prepared to fatten up its bid for Entertainment One. Clearly it feels eOne was demanding too high a price," said Neil Wilson, markets analyst at ETX Capital.

"eOne's stock is down 13% at 217p, well below the 236p ITV had been willing to pay but above where it was trading before news of the bid was confirmed. Investors may be hoping for another suitor," said Mr Wilson.

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