Hasbro and Mattel, the world's two largest toy companies, are considering a merger. Bloomberg Business reports that the toy giants met in late 2015 to discuss a possible transaction, and have continued to have talks since.
If the deal goes through, the resulting company would be the world's single biggest toy manufacturer, and have the license for Marvel (Hasbro) and DC (Mattel) figures. Hasbro also has the rights to produce toys for properties like "Transformers," "My Little Pony" and "G.I. Joe," while Mattel's got "Barbie," "Masters of the Universe," "Hot Wheels" and "Fisher Price," among others.
The details of a potential merger haven't been revealed, but the report speculates that the deal would be under high scrutiny from the United States government, since the new corporation would make up one quarter of the country's toy market.
Mattel tried to buy Hasbro 20 years ago for $5.2 billion. The bid was ultimately unsuccessful, with Mattel citing what it called a "scorched earth" campaign on the part of Hasbro to prevent the deal as the reason the acquisition failed.
Hasbro and Mattel declined to comment to Bloomberg on the deal.
Hasbro And Mattel Talk Merger Posted February 5, 2016 by Dan Wickline
Two of the biggest toy manufacturers are talking about merging. Hasbro, the home of GI Joe and My Little Pony, has an estimated value of $9.5 Billion and Mattel, known for Barbie and Hot Wheels, is worth roughly $11 billion. It’s said that Hasbro approached Mattel late last year and the companies have been having on-and-off-again negotiations ever since.
Mattel has taken some hits over recently, losing a chunk of the market share to Lego A/S as well as a resurgent My Little Pony franchise. The company will likely take another hit when the Disney licenses for Frozen and Princesses will move over to Hasbro which already has the license to the very popular Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Hasbro is set to release a full-earnings report on February 8th.
Almost twenty years ago exactly, merger talks between the two companies took place with Mattel pulling a $5.2 billion dollar offer as Hasbro used the media and politicians to fight the proposed takeover.
The idea of the merger is to combine the strength of Mattel’s girl toy lines with Hasbro’s dominance over the boy’s toys, making a stronger competitor for the Denmark based Lego, which has been growing faster than either company.
Problems the merger might face would be combining companies based on opposite coasts of the country as well as the potential of an antitrust review. The merger would leave only Lego as serious competition to keep prices in check.
Insiders who have spoke of the talks said that they may not lead to a merger.