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CMA probes £3.1bn Peppa Pig takeover by toy giant Hasbro

By August Graham, PA City Reporter

The competition watchdog has kicked off a two-month probe into Hasbro’s plans to take over Peppa Pig maker Entertainment One.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said it will investigate if the four billion dollar takeover (£3.1 billion) is likely to impact competition in the UK.

Regulators said are “considering whether it is or may be the case that this transaction, if carried into effect, … may be expected to result in a substantial lessening of competition within any market or markets in the United Kingdom for goods or services”.

Play-Doh, and Nerf Gun maker Hasbro announced the dramatic swoop on Entertainment One in August, saying it wanted to “dramatically enhance” its storytelling.

Mahershala Ali won Best Actor in a Supporting Role Bafta for Entertainment One’s Green Book (Ian West/PA)

The deal, if approved by the CMA, would give the US company ownership of global super hit Peppa Pig, a children’s cartoon about a pink pig and her family which has built a strong following in China.

The series has been translated into 40 languages and is broadcast across the world.

Entertainment One also produced Oscar-winning Green Book and TV show The Walking Dead.

“The acquisition of eOne adds beloved story-led global family brands that deliver strong operating returns to Hasbro’s portfolio and provides a pipeline of new brand creation driven by family-oriented storytelling, which will now include Hasbro’s IP,” Hasbro boss Brian Goldner said when the deal was announced.

He added: “Hasbro will leverage eOne’s immersive entertainment capabilities to bring our portfolio of brands that have appeal to gamers, fans and families to all screens globally and realise full franchise economics across our blueprint strategy for shareholders.”

The CMA has asked interested parties to get in touch with any comments they have on the deal.

They have until December 5 to comment before the CMA makes its decision by January 21.