Merger and acquisition activity has been pretty sparse in toy circles in recent times.
Back in the 1980s Hasbro snaffled the Playskool and MB companies followed by Kenner Parker Tonka in the 1990s, the same decade in which Mattel flexed its muscles. The company scooped up Fisher Price and Tyco, since when everything has gone pretty quiet on the M&A front.
Part of the reason for this reticence might be the memory of Mattel’s infamous M&A deal when it spent $3.5 billion in 1999 to buy The Learning Company. This led to the downfall of CEO Jill Barad and the acquisition was losing Mattel as much as $1.5 million a day by the year 2000...
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