Hasbro makes buyout offer for toy rival Mattel: WSJ

The two biggest U.S. toy makers should consider playing together, some Wall Street dealmakers apparently think. 

The Wall Street Journal reports that Hasbro Inc. (HAS), seller of Mr. Potato Head and Nerf footballs, recently made a takeover offer for Mattel Inc. (MAT), the company behind Barbie dolls and Hot Wheels toy cars. The newspaper, citing unnamed sources, said terms of the potential deal could not be learned. 

Shares of Mattel soared nearly 25 percent in after-hours trading on news of Hasbro's reported offer.

 

Barbie gets a makeover

Mattel is the smaller player in the U.S. toy business, with a market cap of $5 billion as of Friday's market close, compared with an $11 billion stock market valuation for Hasbro. El Segundo, California-based Mattel, whose world-famous products also include American Girl dolls and Fisher-Price, has suffered from weak sales in recent years, growing losses and a range of cost cuts, including a suspension of its dividend. Shares -- down nearly 50 percent so far this year -- ended Friday's trading session at $14.62, up 5 percent for the day.

Hasbro, headquartered in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, has seen its shares rise nearly 20 percent this year and closed Friday at $91.45, up about 3 percent for the day. Its line of products includes Transformers and My Little Pony, and the Wall Street Journal noted its recent successes obtaining the toy rights of such movie franchises as Disney's "Frozen" and "Star Wars."

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