Activist investor Ancora asks Hasbro to sell Entertainment One unit – letter

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FILE PHOTO: The Hasbro, Inc. logo is seen on a toy for sale in a store in Manhattan, New York

By Shivani Tanna and Anirudh Saligrama

(Reuters) -Activist investor Ancora Holdings Inc wants toymaker Hasbro Inc to explore a full or partial sale of its Entertainment One unit to cut debt and replace longstanding directors on the board, according to its letter that was seen by Reuters.

Ancora has a roughly 1% stake in Hasbro, the investor said in the letter, adding that the divesture of Entertainment One can yield up to $2 billion for the company and result in tax benefits.

The move comes after activist investor Alta Fox Capital Management’s push last week to oust Hasbro’s chairman and two other directors, as it seeks changes at the company, including a spin-off of its Wizards of Coast unit.

Ancora urged Hasbro’s board to reassess a tax-free spinoff of the Wizards of Coast unit, which publishes “Dungeons & Dragons” and “Magic: The Gathering,” given that its shares are trading at about 75% discount to intrinsic value according to its analysis.

Monopoly maker Hasbro bought https://www.reuters.com/article/us-ent-one-m-a-hasbro-idUSKCN1VC2J8 Entertainment One for about $4 billion in cash in 2019 to expand into the lucrative infant and preschool market by gaining access to popular TV shows like Peppa Pig and PJ Masks.

Ancora’s letter was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

Hasbro declined to comment to Reuters when asked about Ancora’s letter.

(Reporting by Shivani Tanna and Anirudh Saligrama in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni, Uttaresh.V and Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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