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Entertainment One Ltd.
Records On Wheels Limited (1970-1980) ROW Entertainment (1980-2005) Entertainment One Income Fund (2005-2009) E1 Entertainment (2009-2010)
Entertainment One (also simply known as eOne, stylized as entertainment One) is a publicly traded Canadianmultinational mass media and entertainment company. Based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, the company is primarily involved in the acquisition, distribution, and production of music, as well as the distribution of other entertainment content, such as films and television series. The company became a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index in 2013.
Founded in 1970 as retail music distributor Records on Wheels, by 2003 the company had begun to expand into home entertainment distribution, and international film and television acquisition and production through the acquisition of Alliance Films, along with other distributors and studios.
eOne began operations in 1973 in Ontario, Canada, as Records on Wheels (ROW) Limited, founded and operated by Vito Ierullo and Don Ierullo, focusing on retail sales of recorded music. In the late 1970s, ROW began to distribute recorded music for third-party retailers in Canada. For more than 20 years, entertainment content distribution became the company's primary focus as the company expanded into video, purchasing one of Canada's largest home entertainment distributors, Video One Canada, Ltd., from its then-parent, Standard Broadcasting Corporation. In November 2003, the company was listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange as ROW Entertainment Income Fund.
In June 2005, ROW Entertainment Income Fund acquired the American independent music distributor and home entertainment publisher Koch Entertainment. In 2007, the company, now known as the Entertainment One Income Fund, accepted a $188 million public equity takeover by Marwyn Investment Management to fund its expansion; the company was listed on London's Alternative Investment Market as Entertainment One Ltd. In 2007, Entertainment One acquired Montreal-based film distributor Seville Pictures and UK distributor Contender Entertainment Group. The same year, the company secured its first film output agreement with Summit Entertainment, handling distribution in Canada and the United Kingdom. Acquisitions continued in 2008 with the purchase of the Benelux distributor RCV Entertainment. The same year, eOne acquired the television studios Blueprint and Barna-Alper, and international television distributor Oasis International.
In April 2011, eOne acquired Australian distribution company Hopscotch for £12.9 million. On May 28, 2012, eOne placed a bid to purchase the Canadian film distributor Alliance Films from Goldman Sachs Group and Investissement Québec. The deal was completed on January 9, 2013, giving eOne Canadian distribution rights for titles from Sony Pictures Entertainment, The Weinstein Company, Lionsgate Films and Focus Features. On May 28, 2014, eOne announced a strategic investment in interactive agency Secret Location; the firm would continue to operate independently under the leadership of James Milward (President, Executive Producer and Founder), and partners Pietro Gagliano (Creative Director and SVP) and Ryan Andal (Technical Director and SVP). On June 2, 2014, eOne acquired Phase 4 Films; its CEO Berry Meyerowitz was named as head of eOne's U.S. film distribution business and North American family entertainment business. On July 17, the company acquired Paperny Entertainment. On August 28, 2014, eOne acquired Force Four Entertainment.
On January 5, 2015, eOne acquired a 51% stake in The Mark Gordon Co.; Gordon was named CEO of the studio, which planned to produce and finance future film and television projects by Gordon and others in an effort by eOne to increase its prominence in the United States. eOne will have an option to acquire the remainder of the studio beginning in 2022. On September 9, 2015, eOne revived the Momentum Pictures brand (which was previously used by Alliance UK) and announced that it had entered into a multi-picture deal with Orion Pictures to jointly acquire films for "specialized theatrical releases" in the U.S., and targeted international releases, focusing on ancillary and digital distribution.
On January 7, 2016, eOne made a strategic investment in Sierra Pictures and on January 20, 2016, the company acquired Dualtone Music Group. On March 8, 2016, eOne acquired music recording, publishing and artist management company Last Gang, and announced Chris Taylor would join the company in the new role of President, Entertainment One Music. On March 24, 2016, eOne acquired a 65% interest in David Garfinkle and Jay Renfroe's unscripted production company Renegade 83.
On August 10, 2016, eOne rejected an offer to be acquired by British television broadcaster ITV plc for £1 billion ($1.3 billion US). eOne considered the offer to be "fundamentally undervalued". On August 17, 2016, eOne announced it completed its investment in digital studio Secret Location. On September 12, 2016, eOne announced its acquisition of UK-based music management company Hardlivings.
On January 29, 2018, eOne acquired the remaining 49% in The Mark Gordon Company. Gordon was then named the President and Chief Content Officer of Film, Television and Digital.
On January 7, 2016, eOne made a strategic investment in Sierra Pictures. On September 9, 2016, eOne announced it had entered into a first look co-financing and international distribution deal for feature films with Tucker Tooley under his film and production company Tooley Productions. The first project under the deal will be a film adaptation of Harlan Coben's novel Fool Me Once, starring and produced by Julia Roberts under her Red Om Films banner. On September 23, 2016, Xavier Dolan's film Juste la fin du monde was announced as Canada's entry in the Best Foreign Language Film category for the 2017 Academy Awards. The film has been sold worldwide by eOne's Seville International sales arm, and is distributed in Canada by eOne/Les Films Seville.
With staff in New York, LA, Toronto and Nashville, eOne Music US, formerly E1 Music/Koch Records, is generally regarded as the largest independent music label in North America. Since its inception as Koch Records, eOne Music US has charted over 100 albums on Billboards Independent Chart, surpassing the number of titles charted by all other U.S. independent label and was the number one independent label according to Billboard for four consecutive years. The music division covers all musical genres from hip hop, adult-contemporary, rock, urban, country, children's and classical. eOne owns the catalog of seminal hip hop label Death Row as well as the indie rock label Dualtone (Lumineers, Shakey Graves). The music business has recently expanded into management and music publishing.
In March 2016, Entertainment One announced the appointment of leading music industry attorney and music industry entrepreneur, Chris Taylor, to the role of President of Entertainment One Music. The company also shared that Taylor will bring his independent recording, publishing and artist management company Last Gang to eOne, whose impressive roster includes record label clients Death From Above 1979, Chromeo and Ryan Hemsworth, and management clients Lights and Arkells.
eOne Family and Licensing
Based in the United Kingdom and Canada, eOne Family (formerly E1 Kids) creates, produces and distributes children's entertainment with partners including Nick Jr and Channel 5, in 190 territories including the United States, Scandinavia, France and Germany. eOne Family's Peppa Pig franchise is one of the most popular pre-school brands in the UK, surpassing over £100 million in retail sales in the 2009 financial period. On September 18, 2015, eOne Family's newest preschool series, PJ Masks, premiered on Disney Channel and Disney Junior in the U.S.
eOne's Distribution division delivers, through both physical and digital channels, eOne's own and third party content to over 3,000 retail partners through its networks across Canada and the United States.
Through various deals and terms, eOne has a distribution deal with the following companies, whether in full or in part:
Winston Steinburger and Sir Dudley Ding Dong (2016)
Acquisitions and targets
Since listing on AIM, eOne has made a series of acquisitions.
In June 2007, eOne acquired Contender Entertainment Group, one of the largest distributors of TV content in the UK(now operates as eOne UK)
In August 2007, eOne acquired Seville Entertainment Inc. for an undisclosed sum(now operates as Les Films Séville)
In January 2008, eOne acquired the Netherlands-based distributor RCV Entertainment(now operates as eOne Benelux)
In July 2008, eOne acquired TV producers Blueprint Entertainment and Barna-Alper Productions as well as domestic distributors Oasis International and Maximum Films.(Barna-Alper now operating as eOne Television, Maximum Films amalgamated into eOne Films Canada while Maximum Film International was amalgamated into Les Films Séville, all others closed)
In April 2011, eOne acquired Australian distribution company Hopscotch for £12.9 million.(now operates as eOne Australia)
In January 2013 eOne acquired Alliance Films. and ceased operation of it and its subsidiaries (Momentum Pictures and Maple Pictures, excpet for Aurum Producciones, now operating as eOne Spain). In 2015, they relaunched Momentum Pictures in Toronto.
In May 2014, eOne made a strategic equity investment in interactive agency Secret Location, and later took full control.
In January 2015, eOne acquired a 51% stake in The Mark Gordon Company, the production studio behind such TV series as Quantico, Grey's Anatomy, Army Wives, Ray Donovan and Criminal Minds; and films such as Steve Jobs, Source Code, The Day After Tomorrow, and Speed. It acquired the remaining 49% in January 2018.
In September 2015, eOne acquired a controlling stake on Astley Baker Davies thus increasing its ownership of the preschool franchise Peppa Pig.
In March 2018, eOne acquired Round Room Entertainment, a premier live entertainment company, founded by Stephen Shaw in 2016.