Published: Sun, November 12, 2017
Economy | By Shawn Conner

Toy Company Rivals Hasbro And Mattel May Soon Become One

Toy Company Rivals Hasbro And Mattel May Soon Become One

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.

Mattel's stance toward Hasbro in this overture is not clear, and it remains far from certain that a deal will materialize, the source said, asking not to be identified because the matter is confidential. Hasbro owns Nerf, Transformers, and My Little Pony, while Mattel makes Barbie and American Girl dolls, along with Fisher-Price and Hot Wheels toys.

Hasbro and Mattel declined to comment.

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The Wall Street Journal reported the talks, citing sources familiar with the matter.

Mattel's shares jumped 20 per cent in after hours trading, while Hasbro rose 2.2 per cent. The toymaker's stock has also taken a hit, falling 52 percent over the past year while Hasbro's shares have increased 8 percent.

The takeover offer comes as Mattel has encountered weak sales following the September bankruptcy of Toys "R" Us, the U.S.'s largest toy retailer. Mattel stock fell on that day to its lowest since 2009. Both toymakers have struggled in recent years to maintain relevancy in an increasingly digital world, combating consumer trends by injecting more and more technology into their products, and launching their own virtual apps as well.

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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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