U.S. toymaker Hasbro in fresh approach to acquire Mattel

Gladys Abbott
November 12, 2017

- Hasbro Inc (HAS.O) has made an approach to acquire rival Mattel Inc (MAT.O), a source familiar with the matter said on Friday, the latest attempt to combine the two biggest USA toymakers in more than two decades.

If a deal is approved, however, it would unite better known Hasbro properties, such as My Little Pony, Monopoly, and Nerf with Mattel's Barbie and Hot Wheels toys and could potentially open the door for more partnership opportunities with the entertainment industry.

Hasbro has made a bid to take over toy aisle rival Mattel in a deal that would bring together the leading makers of entertainment-themed consumer products, from Disney princesses to DC superheroes. By Friday afternoon, its shares had risen by around 24 percent.

Talks that the two may join forces has been long rumored, as Mattel's stock has fallen a significant 52 percent over the past year, leaving its market value at $5 billion. Last month the company suspended its dividend and warned it would miss forecasts for revenue this year. Mattel's stock fell to its lowest level since 2009 that day.

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The Wall Street Journal was the first to report Hasbro's latest approach to Mattel.

One analyst in the toy industry said that both companies would enjoy benefits from merging, but stockholders at Mattel may oppose such a deal that valued their company on a recently depressed share price.

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.

That deal would have given Hasbro a direct pipeline into Hollywood, with more movies and TV shows tied to its toy brands.

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