Tuesday 6 January 2015 5:38 am

Peppa Pig meets Saving Private Ryan? Entertainment One buys stake in Mark Gordon Co

Is this the beginning of new mash-up, a la Alien vs Predator? The production company known best for its Peppa Pig TV series has just acquired a majority stake in the company founded by the producer behind, among other things, Saving Private Ryan.

Entertainment One (known to its friends as eOne) said this morning it had bought a 51 per cent stake in The Mark Gordon Company for $132.6m (£86.9m), comprising $127.5m in cash and $5.1m in shares. 

The idea is that the two will form a joint venture to produce and finance "premium television content" for the major US networks and international distribution. 

The acquisition will be financed through a $175m extension to eOne's existing banking facility. The company added that it expects earnings to be "enhanced" by the purchase in its first full year.

Gordon himself, who has entered into a "new long-term employment agreement" as part of the deal, said there is a "voracious appetite" for premium original content.

In order to realise the true value of our content, retention of rights ownership and control of international distribution are absolute musts. In eOne, we have found a partner that focuses on the creative, is deeply immersed in the international marketplace and has great ambitions in the US that will keep our business booming over the next many years. We're building an alternative to the traditional studio way.

Mark Gordon posted net income of $13.2m in the year to the end of December, with adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of $30m and gross assets of $3.4m.