Hasbro, Inc. (HAS) Reportedly Mulls Mattel Acquisition


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GI Joe and Barbie could be set to shack up within the same company after toy making giant Hasbro made an offer to buy rival Mattel, according to reports.

The two companies, which had a combined market value of about $16-billion as of Friday's close, said they do not comment on rumors or speculation. It also has rights to valuable entertainment franchises.

But, the deal could be an opportunity for Mattel, which has struggled financially in recent years.

Mattel in late October reported a 14 percent drop in its third-quarter sales, excluding the effect of currency fluctuations, and suspended its quarterly dividend.

The bankruptcy filing in September by Toy "R" Us, the largest toy retailer in the USA, highlighted struggles that the sector is facing including children's preferences shifting from traditional toys to electronics and online competition increasing.

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That prompted S&P Global Ratings to lower its ratings on Mattel's corporate debt.

"We believe its brands and manufacturing footprint could be worth more than $10 billion in their current state", analyst Gerrick Johnson of BMO Capital Markets said in a note to clients. More than two decades ago, Mattel sought to take over Hasbro, but Hasbro rejected that hostile bid, saying the merger would never pass antitrust hurdles.

The news comes a week after it was announced Hasbro has teamed with Paramount Pictures to produce and distribute content based on Hasbro brands, as well as original stories.

Hasbro ended talks to acquire USA movie studio and entertainment company Lions Gate Entertainment Corp, Reuters reported in August.

Hasbro, Inc. shares closed at $91.45 on Friday, up $2.76 (+3.11%).