Hasbro Makes Bid For Rival Toymaker Mattel

Barbie Approaches Her 50th Birthday

Hasbro Inc. has made a takeover offer for rival Mattel Inc., according to people familiar with the matter, a combination that would unite the two biggest US toy makers and put Barbie dolls and Nerf guns under the same roof.

Bloomberg reported in early 2016 that the two companies have held on-again, off-again talks. Mattel's stock surged on the news, while Hasbro saw a 3% bump in after-hours trading. The terms of any possible deal couldn't be learned, and the approach may go nowhere.

Toy companies, including Hasbro and Mattel, have had trouble selling their toys to today's kids, many of whom would rather play with a tablet.

Hasbro's strategy of using entertainment assets to fuel toy sales has paid off richly - the company's market cap is $11.4 billion, more than twice that of El Segundo, CA-based Mattel.

Revenue at El Segundo, Calif. -based Mattel has fallen every year since 2013, and its stock has lost almost half its value since the beginning of the year. Shares have fallen almost 50% over the year after the company suspended its shareholder dividend and outlined cost-saving measures.

Hasbro Inc. reportedly made an offer to buy beleaguered rival Mattel Inc. Mattel's stock fell to its lowest since 2009 that day.

Hasbro's approach to Mattel was made recently, one of the people said. But a deal did not materialize on either occasion.

Hasbro is attempting to diversify revenue streams, and has sought to acquire movie studio and entertainment business Lions Gate Entertainment, but the talks were ended without any deal coming to fruition. Hasbro Inc. shares rose $2.55, or 2.8 percent, to $94.

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