Toymaker Hasbro Approaches Mattel with Takeover Offer

Hasbro makes takeover offer for Mattel: Report

Hasbro makes takeover offer for Mattel: Report

As the Wall Street Journal reports, long-time rivals Hasbro, Inc.

USA toymaker Hasbro Inc (HAS.O) has made a takeover approach for rival Mattel Inc (MAT.O), the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday, citing people familiar with the matter.

According to commentators, a deal would create a toy powerhouse, uniting Hasbro's My Little Pony, Monopoly and Nerf brands with Mattel's Barbie dolls and Hot Wheels toys with the combined company having more pricing power to negotiate with entertainment studios over TV and movie franchises.

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Mattel's shares jumped 20 per cent in after hours trading, while Hasbro rose 2.2 per cent. Over two decades ago, Mattel tried to takeover Hasbro with Hasbro rejecting the offer. By Friday afternoon, its shares had risen by around 24 percent. Mattel's shares have slumped 47 percent this year, valuing the company at $4.8 billion and making it more vulnerable as a takeover target.

The bankruptcy filing in September by Toy "R" Us, the largest toy retailer in the USA, highlighted struggles that the sector is facing including children's preferences shifting from traditional toys to electronics and online competition increasing. Mattel in late October announced the suspension of its dividend.

But, the deal could be an opportunity for Mattel, which has struggled financially in recent years.

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The two companies have engaged in talks several times over the years including in 1996 and again sometime in late 2015.

Hasbro is attempting to diversify revenue streams, and has sought to acquire movie studio and entertainment business Lions Gate Entertainment, but the talks were ended without any deal coming to fruition.

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