>> Hasbro has made an approach to buy rival Mattel, a source telling Reuters, in the latest attempt to combine the two biggest US toy makers, as the sector struggles. Mattel has been a vulnerable takeover target in recent years. Its shares have slumped 47% in 2017, and the company recently warned it would miss its full year revenue forecast.
But, Friday's news giving Mattel a boost, shares moving up nearly 25% in after-hours trading. A deal would create a toy powerhouse, uniting Hasbro's My Little Pony, Monopoly and Nerf brands with Mattel's Barbie dolls and Hot Wheels toys. And the combined company would have more pricing power to negotiate with entertainment studios over TV and movie franchises.
Hasbro doesn't need this deal as badly as Mattel. Its stock has risen 18% so far this year, giving it a market value of about $11 billion. But even so, the overall toy sector has been under a lot of stress, fighting off online competition and children's shifting preference for electronics over traditional toys.
The deal still remains uncertain. Hasbro and Mattel declined to comment.