Hasbro Inc has made an approach to acquire rival Mattel Inc, a source familiar with the matter said yesterday, making it the latest attempt to combine the two biggest U.S. toymakers in over two decades.
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.
A new combined entity would have pricing power that it could use to negotiate with entertainment studios and over movie and television franchises.
- 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. The terms of a potential deal could not be learned, the newspaper said. Mattel was not immediately available for comment. By Friday afternoon, its shares had risen by around 24 percent.
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CEO Margo Georgiadis, who took the reins in January, has warned the business would miss its revenue forecast for the full 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.
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. 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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