Mattel Stock Rises on Report of Talks With Private-Equity Buyers

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Mattel Inc. offices

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Photograph by David McNew/Getty Images

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the maker of Hot Wheels toy cars and Barbie, is in talks with buyout firms about a potential sale, The Wall Street Journal reportedciting anonymous sources.

Shares jumped 4.6% in premarket trading on Wednesday to $23.12. Mattel (ticker: MAT) has spoken to Apollo Global Management, L Catterton and others, the report said.

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Mattel didn’t respond to an emailed request from Barron’s for comment outside of office hours.

The deal would be a big one if it goes through. Private-equity firms are sitting on piles of cash accumulated over the past few years as mergers and acquisitions soared,

Mattel’s market capitalization was about $8 billion before the news. It reported a 19% increase in sales for 2021, and Chief Executive Ynon Kreiz said in February that the company is “now in growth mode.”

Kreiz has worked to halt years of sales declines. He cut a third of the company’s jobs and closed several factories. In January, Mattel reported that it had gained the license to make toys for Disney’s “Frozen” franchise, recovering it from Hasbro (HAS).

In 2017, the rival firm tried to take over Mattel in an unsuccessful bid. Hasbro, which makes Nerf toys and Monopoly, is currently in a proxy battle with activist investor Alta Fox Capital Management, which is pushing it to spin off some units.

Mattel reports first-quarter earnings on Wednesday.

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