Hasbro and Mattel said to have held talks on possible merger

Deal between leading toymakers would unite owner of My Little Pony with Barbie

 Newly-released Barbie dolls featuring three new body types from Mattel: toymaker was reportedly approached by Hasbro about a potential transaction late last year. Photograph:  Mattel/EPA

Newly-released Barbie dolls featuring three new body types from Mattel: toymaker was reportedly approached by Hasbro about a potential transaction late last year. Photograph: Mattel/EPA

 

Hasbro and Mattel have held talks about merging two of the world’s biggest toymakers, according to people familiar with the matter, in a deal that would bring together the owner of the My Little Pony and Furby brands with Barbie and Hot Wheels.

Hasbro approached Mattel about a potential transaction late last year, and the companies have held on-and-off-again talks about a deal, the people said.

Details of how a transaction might be structured couldn’t immediately be learned. The talks may not lead to a deal, the people said. Representatives for Hasbro and Mattel declined to comment.

Mattel shares rose 3.8 per cent to $32.97 on Thursday afternoon in New York, valuing the company at about $11.2 billion and extending a streak that has seen the stock gain 17 per cent this year through Wednesday’s close. Hasbro rose 1.5 per cent to $76.10 after climbing as high as $78.45, valuing the company at about $9.5 billion.

Mattel chief executive Chris Sinclair is leading a charge to revive the company’s Barbie business, after losing market share in recent years to Europe’s biggest toymaker Lego as well as Hasbro’s reinvigorated My Little Pony brand.

Shares surged the most in almost seven years Tuesday after holiday results topped analysts’ estimates, even as gross sales fell.

– (Bloomberg)