Barbie and Hot Wheels could join Disney Princess dolls in a new global stable of toys if reported merger talks seal a $20 billion deal between Mattel and Hasbro. Kirsty Basset reports.
Could it be a marriage made in toy heaven? Mattel and Hasbro are reportedly in talks about a possible merger. With a combined market capitalisation of more than $20 billion, it would be a force to reckon with. Darren Sinden at Admiral Markets says a merger makes sense - and that other companies will be taking note. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ADMIRAL MARKETS COMMENTATOR, DARREN SINDEN, SAYING: "If they do get together would someone like Disney be looking at perhaps a bit of vertical integration and wondering why they shouldn't control the production of the toys that make a lot of their money when they make a film and release it. So maybe we'll see the toy manufacturers get together but perhaps some of the content creators might cast an eye over them at a later date." It's not the first time the two companies have held merger talks. Mattel offered to buy Hasbro for about $5.2 billion in 1996, but later withdrew the offer. Shares in each company rose on the news, with Mattel's rising as much as 8 per cent. The two toy giants say they won't comment on rumours or market speculation.