* Company says did not receive attractive offers
* To now focus on making acquisitions
* Stock closes down 18 percent
By A. Ananthalakshmi
Feb 13 Entertainment One Ltd,
known for its children's TV series Peppa Pig, said it was no
longer considering a sale of the company, as it had not received
any attractive buyout offers, and would focus instead on
According to a person familiar with the situation, the
company was in early discussions for a significant acquisition,
but declined to provide further details.
A company spokeswoman declined to comment.
Shares of the company, which produces and distributes film
and television content, closed down 17.84 percent on Monday
despite forecasting strong full-year results.
"The board has considered various proposals that have been
made for all or parts of the group and has concluded that these
do not adequately reflect the company's value," Entertainment
The company, valued at about 370 million pounds ($584.36
million), said in a statement that its financial advisers Credit
Suisse and JP Morgan were evaluating a number of acquisition
opportunities for the company.
Singer Capital Markets analyst Johnathan Barrett said the
financing and macro environments would have materially affected
value calculations on the part of bidders.
The company had been betting on the huge popularity of its
Peppa Pig character to attract potential buyers. In September,
Entertainment One said it had received a string of takeover
The pig's cult status has put it on a par with Thomas the
Tank Engine, and it was even courted by Britain's Labour Party
to appear as a mascot prior to the 2010 general election.
Peppa Pig is the number one pre-school UK toy and is gaining
traction around the world. Entertainment One, which opened the
Peppa Pig World theme park in Hampshire in April 2011, is also
planning on launching its toys range in the United States in
time for the 2012 Christmas season.
Peel Hunt analyst Patrick Yau said he was surprised by the
halt in the sale process as the company had built strong
momentum in its businesses.
"We remain positive on the underlying fundamentals of the
business and would see this as a buying opportunity for longer
term investors to come on board," Yau wrote in a note.
Entertainment One's stock fell almost 20 percent to a low of
160 pence on Monday -- paring most of its gains since September,
when the company announced that it had received takeover
British private equity firm Marwyn Investment Management,
which owns about 40 percent of the company, had bought the then
Toronto-listed Entertainment One in 2007 and taken it public on
London's Alerternative Investment Market immediately thereafter.
The company, which is the UK distributor of the Twilight
movies and holds rights to some 20,000 film and television
titles, said it expects to report full year results in line with
market expectations and that EBITDA margins improved.