Entertainment One Seals Deal, Seeks More

NEW YORK (The Deal) -- Entertainment One Ltd. may be on its way to an acquisition spree with the purchase of Paperny Entertainment Inc. as the Canadian media giant seeks to boost its television division.

EOne announced Thursday that it was buying nonfiction TV producer Paperny for C$29.2 million ($27.1 million), which consists of C$14.5 million in cash and almost 2.6 million common shares. EOne, which lists on the London Stock Exchange, has a market capitalization of about £926.9 million ($1.6 billion).

The media company has had and continues to have conversations with a number of television companies in the U.S., the U.K. and Canada, according to a person familiar with the situation.

While that person declined to disclose names of these companies, the source said the next acquisition eOne seals in the television sphere is more likely to come from the unscripted area. But, this person also said it's hard to speculate whether the company's next deal will come from its film or television division.

The Toronto-based company has two main divisions: its film distribution and production unit and television production and programming unit. EOne released The Twilight Saga and has been producing Haven on the Syfy network.

While EOne recently made deals in the film sphere with its acquisitions of Phase 4 Films in June and Alliance Films last year, its latest transaction comes as the company began its plan 18 months ago to grow its television business both organically and strategically. After having talks with a number of companies since then, EOne decided to seal a deal with Paperny. The two began to focus on the deal about 12 months ago, the person familiar with the situation said.

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