Peppa Pig owner Entertainment One rejects ITV takeover approach

A scene from Peppa Pig

A scene from Peppa Pig - Credit: Archant

The owner of popular children's TV character Peppa Pig has rebuffed a takeover approach from broadcasting giant ITV worth more than £1bn.

Canada-based Entertainment One said it 'unanimously rejected' a 236p-a-share proposal as it believes it 'fundamentally undervalues' the group.

Entertainment One, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange, did not name its suitor, but ITV's takeover plans were widely reported late on Tuesday, sending shares in its bid target surging by almost 10%.

Entertainment One owns the rights to TV shows including Peppa Pig - the cartoon character who has turned into a global children's phenomenon.

It also owns more than 40,000 film and television titles, including last year's Oscar-winning hit Spotlight, and its Amblin Partners venture with Steven Spielberg is behind this summer's movie The BFG, based on Roald Dahl's classic children's book.

Entertainment One also owns around 40,000 music tracks.

A deal between the two would have helped ITV broaden its business and boost its content offering as it seeks to reduce reliance on advertising revenue, which is expected to come under pressure after the Brexit vote.

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ITV last month said it would slash £25m in costs as it warned advertising revenue is set to dip 1% in the nine months to the end of September amid the fallout from the decision to quit the EU.