Barbie rejects Bratz (again)

Toy manufacturer Mattel has rejected a takeover bid from American competitor MGA Entertainment for the second time, even though Barbie has certainly seen better days.

 

Tough conditions

Last year MGA had already launched a first unsolicited takeover bid, which was refused. Since then, the problems at Mattel have only worsened, according to MGA's CEO Issac Larian - the man who also made a failed attempt last year to take over hundreds of toy stores from defunct Toys'R'Us. Now the producer of Bratz, L.O.L. Surprise and Little Tikes tried his luck again with the manufacturer of Barbie, Fischer Price, Hot Wheels and American Girls, the L.A. Times reports.

 

Larian did not mention a bidding price (suggesting instead to have it determined by an investment banker or another outsider with industry knowledge), but he did promise the shareholders a bonus on top of the current stock price. However, Mattel's board of directors declined unanimously, saying the proposal was not in the interest of the company and its shareholders. Of course, that may have been down to Larian's tough conditions: he wanted to take over the role of CEO of Mattel and fire all directors without further compensation. 

 

Tough times for Mattel

With a turnover of around two billion dollars, MGA Entertainment is only half the size of Mattel, but the latter has been struggling with decreasing turnover for three years in a row. The company is also loss-making. Last year, Mattel suffered a loss of 531 million dollars on a 4.5 billion-dollar turnover.

 

Mattel has also had a hard time on the stock market: in the past 12 months, the share's price has sunk by at least 37 %. While only five years ago, the share reached a record price of 40 dollars, this week it was barely worth 10.81 dollars. MGA is not a quoted company and its interest in Mattel has since boosted the share by 6.38 %, but Barbie and her friends still have a long way to go.