The Wall Street Journal has reported that Hasbro has approached Mattel about a potential deal.
The Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed sources, reported that the approach had been made recently, though the terms were unclear and a deal still may not materialise. If a deal was consummated, it would bring together the two largest toymakers in the United States.
Mattel shares skyrocketed by more than 20% in after-hours trading on the Hasbro news, while Hasbro shares jumped more than 2% on the report. Mattel has a market value of $5b, while Hasbro is worth about $11b.
Representatives for Hasbro and Mattel declined comment on the report, saying they “don’t respond to speculation”.
A similar rumour that Hasbro and Mattel were holding merger talks appeared in media reports in early 2016, and such speculation has repeatedly surfaced and then faded in the two decades since Hasbro resisted a formal $5.2-billion purchase bid from Mattel.
Hasbro contended at the time that a deal might be blocked by federal regulators on antitrust grounds, and Mattel abandoned its offer in early 1996.