U.S. toy giant Mattel to buy Canadian Mega Brand for $460 million

Feb. 28, 2014 at 3:20 PM
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EL SEGUNDO, Calif., Feb. 28 (UPI) -- U.S. toy giant Mattel, a leader in the doll market, said it Friday will buy Canadian construction toy company Mega Brands for $460 million.

The acquisition of the Canadian toy company advances Mattel's global growth strategy by expanding the company into two of the fastest-growing toy categories -- construction building sets, and arts and crafts, El Segundo, Calif.-based Mattel said in a release.

"A key pillar of our global growth strategy is the strategic acquisition of brands that will both benefit from our scale and help extend our reach into new and growing categories," said Bryan G. Stockton, Mattel chairman and chief executive officer. "The construction play pattern is popular, universal and has had one of the fastest growth rates over the past three years. We look forward to helping Mega Brands accelerate its global growth, providing more choices for more children and their families."

Mega Brands' Mega Bloks is a rival to Legos' knobbed plastic building blocks. Mega Brands' arts and crafts business includes brands such as Rose Art and Board Dudes.

"Mega Brands has built leading positions in large, growing categories by providing engaging creative experiences for children and families through innovative, well-designed and high-quality products, and Mattel is the ideal partner to take our brands to the next level," Marc Bertrand, Mega Brands president and CEO, said. "We are confident Mattel's scale and global platform spanning 150 markets -- combined with the expertise of our people in the construction and arts and crafts categories -- will create tremendous growth opportunities for our brands."

Mega Brands shareholders will receive $17.75 (Canadian) per share in cash, Mattel said.

The transaction represents a total value of approximately $460 million (U.S), including the net debt of Mega Brands that Mattel will either assume or pay.

Mega Brands has approximately 1,700 employees in 17 countries. Mattel said it plans to maintain Mega Brands' expertise in manufacturing, and maintain the Mega Brands headquarters in Montreal.

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