Last week’s announcement that US toy company Hasbro is acquiring Entertainment One (eOne) in a US$4B all-cash transaction, in a calculated bid to boost its market share in the lucrative kids’ TV and merchandise sales market, raises the obvious question as to how eOne’s music division fits with the strategy.
Maybe it doesn’t.
It is a question that global online music trade Music Business International ponders with a few thoughts proffered in its own assessment.
To wit: “It goes without saying that, should the buyout get finalized, the future of eOne’s music assets will be in the hands of Hasbro. But it’s also fair to say that the bulk of eOne Music would make a strange bedfellow with Hasbro, a publicly-traded company with a $5bn-plus annual turnover whose leading products include Monopoly, G.I Joe, Furby, Transformers and Nerf.”
Furthering the premise that eOne Music could, potentially, be spun off should the right investor step forward, MBI suggests that the music division’s Chris Taylor could be a wild card spurred to move on to “pastures anew.”
It’s all wild speculation at this point, but eOne’s music assets that include recording artists, management firms and the seemingly incongruous Death Row catalogue beg the question as to where the synergies are in the new Hasbro-led vision of what was Canada’s largest integrated entertainment firm. Time will tell; meantime, many questions internally must be being asked. The game plan for tomorrow and beyond will need to be explained. Artists such as Tegan & Sara and Metric weigh in the balance. An easy guess is that some but not all assets in the division will find new homes. But that's conjecture. We must wait to see what happens next.