Published: Sun, November 12, 2017
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

Toymaker Hasbro Approaches Mattel with Takeover Offer

Toymaker Hasbro Approaches Mattel with Takeover Offer

Hasbro is one of the largest toy companies in the world (after Lego), and according to a report in The Wall Street Journal, it recently made an offer to take over its chief rival, Mattel. Despite its financial woes, brands like Fisher Price and Hot Wheels, which are still seen as valuable, are said to make Mattel "ripe for a takeover" by Hasbro. The terms of any possible deal couldn't be learned, and the approach may go nowhere.

Hasbro and Mattel declined to comment.

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Mattel's shares were up 24.74 per cent in after-hours trading to $18.25, while Hasbro's were up more than three per cent to around $94. Conversely, Hasbro shares have increased 8 percent bringing its market value to an impressive $11.4 billion. Last month the company suspended its dividend and warned it would miss forecasts for revenue this year.

The September bankruptcy of Toys "R" Us, the biggest USA toy retailer, highlighted the struggles facing the sector, including online competition and children's shifting preference for electronics over traditional toys. Mattel's stock fell to its lowest level since 2009 that day.

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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.

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

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If completed that deal would have given Hasbro a much needed direct line to Hollywood with more television shows and movies tied to toy brands.

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