Hasbro Makes Bid For Rival Toymaker Mattel

Hasbro reportedly makes a takeover bid for struggling rival Mattel

A tie-up would create a toy powerhouse, uniting Hasbro's brands, which also include My Little Pony, with Mattel's Barbie dolls and Hot Wheels toys. Mattel's stock has fallen 52 percent over the previous year.

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. It was unclear whether Hasbro had offered any terms for a deal or whether any further discussions had taken place, said the people, who insisted on anonymity because the talks were private. Mattel, based in El Segundo, California, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Mattel's stock has fallen 52 percent over the past year, and its market value is now about $5 billion. Hasbro, which makes Disney Princess Dolls and Nerf guns, rose about 3.3 per cent. Shares have fallen almost 50% over the year after the company suspended its shareholder dividend and outlined cost-saving measures. It blamed some of the decline on the recent bankruptcy filing of retailer Toys R Us Inc.

"Both companies would benefit from a merger, but Mattel stockholders might oppose a deal that values the company on its depressed stock price", said Erik Gordon, a professor at the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business.

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Mattel in late October reported a 14% drop in its third-quarter sales, excluding the effect of currency fluctuations, and suspended its quarterly dividend. Mattel stock fell on that day to its lowest since 2009.

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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