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The boss of Bratz tried to merge with Mattel. Mattel said no thanks

Bratz and Barbie as BFFs: It was the latest unconventional idea from an unconventional toy mogul.But Mattel wo...

Posted: May 18, 2018 6:39 PM
Updated: May 18, 2018 6:39 PM

Bratz and Barbie as BFFs: It was the latest unconventional idea from an unconventional toy mogul.

But Mattel wouldn't even discuss it.

Isaac Larian, founder of the company that owns Bratz dolls and Little Tikes toys, was shot down in his proposal to merge with Mattel, the troubled parent of Barbie, Fisher-Price, Hot Wheels and American Girl.

The rejection came weeks after Larian failed in an initial effort to keep Toys "R" Us in business in the United States.

Larian, who is also CEO of the privately held MGA Entertainment, released an exchange of letters with outgoing Mattel Chairman Christopher Sinclair in which Larian suggested a merger of the two companies for an undisclosed price.

Under his proposal, he would have been chairman and CEO of the combined company.

Mattel completely dismissed the idea.

"The Mattel board unanimously concluded that this proposal is not in the best interests of Mattel and its shareholders," said the response from Sinclair, dated Thursday. "Mattel is not interested in further discussing the matter with you."

Mattel stock has been cut nearly in half in the past three years, and its debt has been downgraded deep into junk bond status. The company lost $1.1 billion last year and another $311 million in the first three months of this year, essentially wiping out three previous years of profit.

It was hurt badly by the bankruptcy of Toys "R" Us, the last toy megastore. Now that it's gone, Mattel and other toymakers will struggle to promote anything but their most popular items.

Related: Hasbro-Mattel merger rumor just won't die

Mattel recently tapped digital media veteran Ynon Kreiz as CEO after the previous CEO, Margo Georgiadis, left only a year into the job. Larian dismissed Kreiz' qualifications for the job in his letter to Mattel.

"Ynon is a good guy. But he doesn't know toys and will fail like Margo did," he wrote.

Mattel did not respond to a request for further comment.

The company has been subject of rumors in recent months about a merger with Hasbro, its major publicly traded rival. Shares of Mattel opened lower Friday after news of Larian's rejected offer.

Larian made a bid earlier this year to save 274 Toys "R" Us stores in the United States by buying them for $675 million. The company rejected that offer as too low, but Larian has vowed to keep trying to buy at least some of the stores, because the disappearance of Toys "R" Us will hurt the industry.

Related: Amazon didn't kill Toys 'R' Us. Here's what did

Larian is a self-described maverick. He has been waging a legal battle with Mattel over the copyright of Bratz dolls for more than 10 years.

Yet his letter to Sinclair started with a friendly tone, asking whether he had become a grandfather yet, and talking of the birth of his own grandson in March.

The letter also boldly predicted that MGA would more than double its sales and profit in 2018, despite the problems at Toys "R" Us, and would grow 50% more next year.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 320107

Reported Deaths: 7378
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto22291269
Hinds20741421
Harrison18444317
Rankin13917282
Jackson13731249
Madison10270224
Lee10060176
Jones8473167
Forrest7834153
Lauderdale7263242
Lowndes6523150
Lamar636088
Lafayette6314121
Washington5426137
Bolivar4841133
Panola4671110
Oktibbeha466398
Pearl River4606147
Marshall4574105
Warren4440121
Pontotoc425973
Monroe4161136
Union415877
Neshoba4064180
Lincoln4009113
Hancock387087
Leflore3516125
Tate342586
Sunflower339491
Pike3372111
Alcorn327473
Scott320374
Yazoo314371
Adams308386
Itawamba305178
Copiah299966
Coahoma298984
Simpson298589
Tippah292268
Prentiss284261
Leake272274
Marion271280
Covington267283
Wayne264842
Grenada264087
George252251
Newton248963
Tishomingo232268
Winston230181
Jasper222148
Attala215173
Chickasaw210559
Holmes190374
Stone188733
Clay187954
Tallahatchie180041
Clarke178980
Calhoun174232
Yalobusha167840
Smith164134
Walthall135447
Greene131834
Lawrence131224
Montgomery128643
Noxubee128034
Perry127538
Amite126342
Carroll122330
Webster115032
Jefferson Davis108334
Tunica108127
Claiborne103130
Benton102325
Humphreys97533
Kemper96729
Franklin85023
Quitman82316
Choctaw79118
Wilkinson69632
Jefferson66328
Sharkey50917
Issaquena1696
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 549013

Reported Deaths: 11311
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson810461571
Mobile42145831
Madison35718525
Tuscaloosa26179458
Shelby25626254
Montgomery25089614
Baldwin21901314
Lee16287176
Calhoun14724327
Morgan14639285
Etowah14183364
Marshall12454230
Houston10791287
Elmore10301214
Limestone10188157
St. Clair10161251
Cullman9958201
Lauderdale9612250
DeKalb8977190
Talladega8462184
Walker7341280
Autauga7242113
Jackson6953113
Blount6950139
Colbert6415140
Coffee5638127
Dale4930116
Russell454941
Chilton4478116
Franklin431782
Covington4279122
Tallapoosa4144155
Escambia401880
Chambers3728124
Dallas3610158
Clarke353161
Marion3245107
Pike314578
Lawrence3134100
Winston283572
Bibb268564
Geneva258481
Marengo250665
Pickens237062
Barbour234559
Hale227178
Butler224671
Fayette218962
Henry194443
Randolph187644
Cherokee187345
Monroe180641
Washington170739
Macon163051
Clay160159
Crenshaw156357
Cleburne153644
Lamar146937
Lowndes142254
Wilcox126930
Bullock124542
Conecuh113630
Coosa111629
Perry108626
Sumter105832
Greene93634
Choctaw62125
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