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Hasbro-DreamWorks Animation Merger Talks Fold

DreamWorks Animation stocks fall, Hasbro shares rise after merger talks end.

Strike the new Toothless and Hiccup dolls. Just days after it was revealed that toymaker Hasbro was engaged in talks to purchase DreamWorks Animation, the negotiations have abruptly ended, according to a report by The Hollywood Reporter.

The deal appears to have been derailed in part by the performance of Hasbro's stock, which fell dramatically on Thursday after news of the negotiations broke. Hasbro shares on Thursday lost 4 percent, or roughly $300 million, and the stock fell another 2 percent on Friday.

DreamWorks Animation had been seeking $35 a share from Hasbro, a price Wall Street analysts reportedly deemed too steep according to research notes published Thursday and Friday. News of the potential merger pushed DreamWorks shares up 14 percent to $25.52, still 37 percent below what the studio had been asking.

On Monday, DreamWorks Animation’s stock tumbled nearly 13 percent in pre-market trading as Wall Street reacted to news that the company’s merger talks with Hasbro were over. Hasbro stocks rose climbed 4.4 percent in pre-market trading to $56.40.

Hasbro is the second major merger target for DWA in recent weeks. The studio was in talks with Japanese giant Softbank in September, but those negotiations collapsed days after they became public.

Hasbro not only controls toy brands such as Transformers and G.I. Joe, but also has in the works a Fox movie based on the card game Magic: The Gathering and a Sony movie based on the Candy Land board game.

Despite the success of its sequel How to Train Your Dragon 2, DreamWorks animation has taken write-downs on Return Rise of The GuardiansTurbo, and Mr. Peabody & Sherman

Jennifer Wolfe's picture

Formerly Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network, Jennifer Wolfe has worked in the Media & Entertainment industry as a writer and PR professional since 2003.