Hasbro reportedly offered to buy Mattel

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A merger of this size wouldn't be child's play but could be beneficial for both companies

Hasbro Inc. has made a takeover offer for rival Mattel Inc., according to people familiar with the matter, a combination that would unite the two biggest USA toy makers and put Barbie dolls and Nerf guns under the same roof.

Hasbro has made a bid to acquire rival toymaker Mattel, according to a new report.

Shares of Mattel, which makes Barbie dolls and Hot Wheels, dropped 47 percent this year, while stocks for Hasbro rose nearly 18 percent.

Mattel's stance toward Hasbro at this time is not clear, and it remains far from certain that a deal will materialise, the source said, asking not to be identified because the matter is confidential.

Hasbro, Inc. shares closed at $91.45 on Friday, up $2.76 (+3.11%).

Talks that the two may join forces has been long rumored, as Mattel's stock has fallen a significant 52 percent over the past year, leaving its market value at $5 billion.

The September bankruptcy of Toys "R" Us, the biggest USA toy retailer, highlighted the struggles facing the sector, including online competition and children's shifting preference for electronics over traditional toys.

Mattel has cited the bankruptcy as one reason it has experienced weaker sales.

One analyst in the toy industry said that both companies would enjoy benefits from merging, but stockholders at Mattel may oppose such a deal that valued their company on a recently depressed share price.

Hasbro and Mattel have had talks several times over the years, including in 1996 and again sometime in late 2015. The company reported a decline in sales after Toys R' Us filed for bankruptcy in September. And it maintains a strong relationship with Hollywood - Hasbro also makes toys for successful Disney franchises.

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