Lionsgate Trims eOne Workforce As Acquisition Nears Official Close

Lionsgate Trims eOne Workforce As Acquisition Nears Official Close

Lionsgate, which agreed to buy eOne last August, is cutting the production outfit’s already-depleted workforce by a single-digit percentage as the acquisition approaches its official close at the end of the month.

A personal familiar with the integration process confirmed the layoffs to Deadline but cast doubt on media reports earlier Friday estimating that 10% of staffers would be let go. Certain workers are expected to remain with Lionsgate during a brief transition period before departing, while others are exiting in the near term.

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Before Lionsgate emerged from a pack of suitors with the winning bid, eOne had gone into play due to a strategy shift at Hasbro. The toymaker, which acquired the film and TV production entity for about $4 billion in 2019, has stepped back from Hollywood fare but retained eOne kids and family properties like Peppa Pig and My Little Pony.

The roster of titles moving to Lionsgate includes TV series like Yellowjackets, The Rookie and the Naked and Afraid franchise. On the film side, eOne has had a mixed run of late, with recent releases including sci-fi misfire The Creator and steady-grossing specialty title Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris.

Reps from Lionsgate and eOne declined to comment on the layoffs.

Lionsgate execs cited the eOne deal and the SAG-AFTRA strikewhen they postponed a shareholder vote on the company’s planned separation of its studio and Starz businesses. After evaluating several strategic alternatives, the company decided to separate Starz and the studio operation, creating two publicly traded entities.

“We remain committed to the separation of Lionsgate and Starz,” CEO Jon Feltheimer said during the company’s quarterly earnings call last August. “With the impact of the eOne acquisition on regulatory approvals, uncertainties surrounding the strike and our efforts to create the most efficient capital structure within a disruptive marketplace, we anticipate that the separation will now take place in the first quarter of calendar 2024.”