Good news, Piers Akerman: Peppa Pig is an avowed capitalist. In fact, she’s worth at least $1.7 billion, give or take a few hundred million.
It was Akerman who once complained Peppa was some sort of flag-bearer for women’s lib. “Even the cartoon character Peppa Pig pushes a weird feminist line that would be closer to the hearts of Labor’s Handbag Hit Squad than the preschool audience it is aimed at,” he wrote in December 2013, another tiresome attack on the ABC supported by Miranda Devine, Andrew Bolt and others (who all ignored the fact Peppa is also broadcast on Foxtel, half-owned by the columnists’ News Corp employer).
Peppa is now owned by Canadian-based Entertainment One, generating hundreds of millions of dollars a year in revenue from sales of the cartoon series and merchandise. That has made Entertainment One a fat target for others in the TV industry, none keener than ITV, the British commercial TV network and production house which has tossed up a $1.69 billion offer.
But the Pig said “nope”, via a po-faced board statement:
“The Board of eOne has reviewed the Proposal and has unanimously rejected it on the basis that it fundamentally undervalues the Company and its prospects.”
Entertainment One is headquartered in Toronto but listed in London. Last year it paid 140 million pounds to raise its stake to 70% of Astley Baker Davies, the company that makes Peppa Pig. It also bought 51% of the Mark Gordon Company, the Los Angeles-based production group behind the medical drama Grey’s Anatomy. Entertainment One owns and distributes some 40,000 television and film titles, including recent release The BFG in partnership with Amblin Partners.
United Kingdom market analysts say more dosh will be needed to win the pig’s approval. It seems Peppa is far more capitalist than feminist when it comes to takeovers.