LOS ANGELES -- Mattel shares soared in after-hours trading Friday after a report surfaced that the toymaker has been approached with a takeover offer from rival Hasbro.
If the reported deal were to come together, it could create a toy colossus that unites a rich variety of the nation's best-known playthings, from Easy-Bake Ovens to Hot Wheels cars. Mr. Potato Head would be under the same roof as Barbie.
The Wall Street Journal reported that the offer had been made, based on "people familiar with the matter" who were not named. Hasbro, based in Pawtucket, R.I., said it would not comment on rumor or speculation. Mattel, based in the Los Angeles suburb of El Segundo, could not be reached for comment.
A combination of the two toymakers could help them defend their stalwart toy brands against an onslaught of newer, tech-oriented toys and better deal with fallout from turmoil in toy retailing. Toymakers have been watching warily as the giant Toys R Us chain has been going through a Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization.
Plus, the acquisition could help boost the sagging stock prices of both companies.
Mattel shares rocketed 24% to $18.14 a share in trading after the close of the market Friday when the news broke. For the day, Mattel was already up 5% to close at $14.62, but below its Mattel's 52-week high of $32.48.
Hasbro shares also got a little bit of a bounce. The stock was up 2.9% in after-hours trading to $94.10 a share.
It, too, is well off its 52-week high. Shares peaked at $116.20 in the summer.