Canada’s Entertainment One Sells 28.9 Million Shares at Discount in London to Acquire UK’s Audio Network


Entertainment One (ETO.L), a Canadian mass media and entertainment group, said early Friday that it sold 28.9 million shares at a discount to finance a majority of the 178 million-pound ($232.8 million) acquisition of Audio Network, one of the world’s largest independent creators and publishers of original music for use in films, television and advertising.

The Toronto, Ontario-based firm said in a statement that it placed common shares of no par value at 450 pence each on the London Stock Exchange, raising gross proceeds of about 130 million pounds. The price represents a discount of 5.6% to the close on April 11. On a net placing price of roughly 439 pence, the discount is even deeper at 7.9%.

The sale represents about 6.2% of the company’s issued share capital prior to the placing.

eOne said the 178 million pounds it is paying to acquire Audio Network includes cash and cash equivalents net of other working capital items acquired at the closing of about 13 million, implying a 165 million-pound enterprise value for the takeover of the music group, which has commissioned and recorded more than 82,000 music tracks.

It said the London, UK-based Audio Network’s top management team, including co-founder Andrew Sunnucks and Chief Executive Officer Robb Smith, will join the senior management at eOne.

Other contributors to the financing of the acquisition are JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM), which is offering a 52 million pound loan, and about 9 million of eOne common shares issued to Audio Network’s key management shareholders, subject to a 12 month lock-in period.

“Transaction is targeted to be EPS [earnings per share] accretive in the current financial year, including revenue opportunities and cost synergies,” eOne said in the statement.