Hasbro is reportedly exploring a possible sale of Entertainment One Music, which encompasses Dualtone Records (the label behind The Lumineers’ first three albums), legendary gangsta rap label Death Row Records, and more.
The 97-year-old toy manufacturer officially closed its $3.8 billion acquisition of Toronto-headquartered Entertainment One (eOne) in late December of 2019. Besides eOne Music, the latter entertainment conglomerate includes a television division that handles international distribution for programs such as The Walking Dead, as well as a Family & Brands division that owns IP like Peppa Pig and PJ Masks.
And as initially mentioned, Entertainment One Music possesses assets including Dualtone Records and Death Row Records, which Dr. Dre, Michael Harris, and others founded back in 1992. (Hasbro is reportedly planning to reissue classic Death Row albums on cassette this year to celebrate the label’s 30th anniversary.)
Both Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre released their debut studio albums via Death Row, which also signed 2Pac and, after folding in 2008, sold to a media company called WIDEawake Entertainment for just $18 million.
WIDEawake’s parent company then declared bankruptcy, setting the stage for eOne to buy Death Row. And as initially mentioned, Hasbro is now looking to offload eOne Music, per reports. Though Hasbro higher-ups hadn’t formally responded to the rumors of an eOne Music/Death Row Records sale at the time of this piece’s publishing, the Pawtucket, Rhode Island-based business is reportedly seeking $600 million for the holdings.
The pursuit of a more than half-billion-dollar windfall from the sale of eOne Music could be part of a broader expansion for Hasbro, however, as a recent Forbes piece shed light upon the company’s ambitious plans for Nerf (which it acquired in 1991). Capitalizing upon the media- and production-related assets introduced by eOne, Hasbro intends to roll out everything from a Nerf TikTok channel to additional video games and even “family entertainment centers across Mexico.”
In other recent acquisition and investment news, Triller this month purchased Verzuz, a livestream music-competition program created by Timbaland and Swizz Beatz, and tapped the two to fill executive positions in-house. Anghami, the most popular music streaming platform in North Africa and the Middle East, is set to list shares on NASDAQ following a merger with the Vistas Media Acquisition Company (traded as VMAC).
Lastly, Jay-Z sold half of his Armand de Brignac champagne (widely known as “Ace of Spades”) to Moët Hennessy in late February, before Jack Dorsey’s Square acquired a majority stake in Tidal for nearly $300 million.