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Just Play considering buying Jakks: Bloomberg
Posted on Wednesday, 09 October 2019 10:49
Just Play is mulling a bid to take over toy manufacturer Jakks Pacific, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg, in a deal that could be worth around USD 34.49 million.

According to the sources, the acquiror is weighing an offer of between 80.00 cents to 90.00 cents per share, which is likely to be backed by private equity firm Centerbridge Partners.

Jakks’ stock price declined 5.5 per cent to USD 0.71 following the news yesterday, giving the group a market capitalisation of USD 25.05 million.

The insiders, who asked not to be identified as the situation is still private, cautioned that an offer is yet to be made and there is no guarantee talks will lead to a deal.

Jakks has reportedly been exploring a sale for several months as it struggles with continuous losses and a declining share price.

The group is said to have taken a big hit after Toys R Us fell apart last year.

Bloomberg’s latest report comes less than a month after Alleghany made an offer to acquire Jakks for between 85.00 cents and 90.00 cents per share in September.

These same sources told the news provider this deal has not materialised and instead the potential buyer picked up Wicked Cool Toys for an undisclosed amount last week.

Founded in 1995, Jakks designs, produces and markets toys, leisure products and writing instruments for children and adults.

It has become a top six player in the sector with brands such as Big-Figs, Max Tow, Moose Mountain and Funnoodle under its belt, while also owning licenses for Walt Disney for Frozen and Marvel products.

During the six months to 30th June 2019, California-based Jakks posted net sales of USD 166.01 million, a 16.5 per cent decline from USD 198.79 million in the corresponding period of 2018.

Adjusted loss before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation totalled USD 28.56 million in the first half of this year, widened from a loss of USD 23.11 million in H1 2018.

Zephyr, the M&A database published by Bureau van Dijk, shows there have been 57 deals targeting doll, toy and game manufacturers announced worldwide since the start of 2019.

In the largest of these, multiple shareholders agreed to sell a 2.0 per cent stake in Nintendo in a public offering worth a total JPY 71.62 billion (USD 668.34 million).

© Zephus Ltd