U.S. toymaker Hasbro in fresh approach to acquire Mattel

Barbie Approaches Her 50th Birthday

Monopoly maker Hasbro recently made an offer for Mattel, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing sources. Despite its financial woes, brands like Fisher Price and Hot Wheels, which are still seen as valuable, are said to make Mattel "ripe for a takeover" by Hasbro.

A new combined entity would have pricing power that it could use to negotiate with entertainment studios and over movie and television franchises. The WSJ's sources say that the deal was made recently, didn't disclose terms, and that it might not go anywhere. Over two decades ago, Mattel tried to takeover Hasbro with Hasbro rejecting the offer.

Most kids don't care about the difference between Hasbro and Mattel - and according to new reports, the two companies might soon become one. Conversely, Hasbro shares have increased 8 percent bringing its market value to an impressive $11.4 billion.

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.

Mattel has pointed to that bankruptcy as a reason for weak sales. Last month the company suspended its dividend and warned it would miss forecasts for revenue this year. Mattel stock fell on that day to its lowest since 2009. 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.

The two companies have engaged in talks several times over the years including in 1996 and again sometime in late 2015.

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