Business

CPP pays $290M for 18% stake in studio Entertainment One

Canada's national pension plan is buying a 17.9 per cent stake in TV and film studio Entertainment One for the equivalent of about $290 million.
Entertainment One had a hand in distribution AMC's megahit The Walking Dead. (Gene Page, AMC/Associated Press)

Canada's national pension plan is buying a 17.9 per cent stake in Toronto-based studio Entertainment One for the equivalent of about $290 million.

The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board announced a deal to buy 52.9 million shares in eOne from owner Marwyn Value Investors LP on Wednesday that will see the pension fund spend £142 million ($290 million) for a stake in the entertainment company that specializes in the acquisition, production and distribution of film and television content.

Entertainment One has distributed some of the world's biggest recent film and TV titles including The Walking Dead, The Hunger Games and the Twilight movies. The company has more than 40,000 film and television titles in its portfolio.

In January 2016, eOne formed a partnership with The Mark Gordon Co. to create an independent studio to finance and produce film, network, cable and digital content.

Mark Gordon is a prolific producer whose TV hits include Grey's AnatomyCriminal Minds, and Ray Donovan, and whose film productions include SpeedThe Day After Tomorrow and Saving Private Ryan.

"We are pleased to have the opportunity to become a significant shareholder in eOne and to work with the company to help it achieve its ambitious growth plans of doubling in size within the next five years," said Scott Lawrence, a managing director with CPP, in a release.

Although founded in Toronto, eOne has been publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange since 2007.

The CPPIB invests funds not needed by the Canada Pension Plan to pay current benefits and had $268.6 billion worth of investments as of June 30.

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