Hasbro has made a bid to acquire rival toymaker Mattel, according to a new report.
According to the New York Times, Hasbro made the takeover offer in recent months and while details about the offer are unknown as is whether or not Hasbro and Mattel have been in any further talks about the offer, a deal would combine the two largest U.S. toymakers in more than two decades.
The takeover offer comes as Mattel has encountered weak sales following the September bankruptcy of Toys "R" Us, the U.S.'s largest toy retailer. Last month, Mattel said the toy retailer's bankruptcy – a result of shifting consumer preference for electronic toys and e-commerce – was a factor in the company's third quarter results and Mattel's sales have fallen 13 percent since last year. The toymaker's stock has also taken a hit, falling 52 percent over the past year while Hasbro's shares have increased 8 percent. Despite the financial concerns, Mattel's ownership of valuable brands makes the toymaker ripe for takeover by Hasbro.
This is not the first time that the two toymakers have been in discussion of a potential takeover. Over two decades ago, Mattel attempted to takeover Hasbro though the offer was rejected on the grounds that a merger would not get past antitrust regulations. Should Mattel agree to Hasbro's offer, regulatory issues could be a factor in this potential merger as well considering the dominance Hasbro and Mattel have in the industry.
If a deal is approved, however, it would unite better known Hasbro properties, such as My Little Pony, Monopoly, and Nerf with Mattel's Barbie and Hot Wheels toys and could potentially open the door for more partnership opportunities with the entertainment industry. News of the takeover offer comes just a week after the announcement of Hasbro's partnership with Paramount Pictures to produce and distribute content based on the brand's properties with Hasbro's Allspark Pictures and Allspark Animation working with Paramount to develop new projects. The two companies have previously collaborated on movies based on Hasbro properties G.I. Joe and Transformers.