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Hasbro ‘ends Lionsgate takeover talks’

OITNB Funny GirlToy giant Hasbro was recently in talks to buy North American studio Lionsgate but has now ended the discussions, according to US reports.

A Reuters story unnamed quoted sources saying the deal had fallen flat last week over price disagreements.

Hasbro’s strategy for a deal was to improve its position in Hollywood, and create a pipeline of TV series and movies based on its toy brands, which include Monopoly, G.I. Joe, Transformers and My Little Pony.

In 2014, Hasbro came close to buying DreamWorks Animation (DWA), though this also fell through. Comcast ultimately acquired Shrek studio DWA.

Hasbro has found success with its series of Paramount Pictures-released Transformer films, while a Lionsgate-produced My Little Pony film is due in October.

It also owns Irish studio Boulder Media, which counts Danger Mouse among its credits.

The company has also pushed into TV through its Hasbro Studios arm, which is producing a Netflix toon based on its Stretch Armstrong toy brand.

Lionsgate is behind series such as Orange is the New Black, Nashville and Nurse Jackie, and movies including La La Land and the Hunger Games

Last year, it acquired US premium pay TV channel Starz in a US$4.4 billion deal and spent much of this year integrating that into the wider business.

The hedge fund of Lionsgate chairman Mark Rachesky, MHR Fund Management, is the company’ largest shareholder, while Discovery and Liberty Global backer John Malone is also a key board member.