Mattel rejects renewed merger bid from rival MGA Entertainment

June 12, 2019

(Reuters) – Toymaker Mattel Inc last week rejected another merger offer from Bratz doll maker MGA Entertainment Inc, MGA’s chief executive officer, Isaac Larian, said on Tuesday.

MGA Entertainment made the proposal in a letter to Mattel CEO Ynon Kreiz dated May 21, according to emails that Larian shared with Reuters.

In response, Bob Normile, Mattel’s chief legal officer, wrote to Larian on June 7 that the company’s board unanimously concluded that the proposal was “not in the best interests of Mattel and its shareholders.”

MGA’s renewed offer was on condition that Larian would become Mattel’s chairman and CEO and all of Mattel’s board members resign “without any further compensation”.

While Larian did not propose a specific price for the bid, he told Los Angeles Times that it would “absolutely” be at a premium to Mattel’s current market price. Mattel had a market value of $3.52 billion as of Tuesday’s close.

Larian first made overtures to Mattel in April of last year, the emails showed.

Mattel has been struggling to boost its sales, which have fallen for the past three years, and the Barbie maker’s stock has lost 37% of its value in the past 12 months.

Larian said that Mattel’s problems have worsened since his original offer.

Mattel’s shares rose 8.2% after the closing bell.

Mattel did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment.

(Reporting by Vibhuti Sharma, Soundarya J and Bhargav Acharya in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)

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