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Hasbro gets the Wizard
September 9, 1999: 10:46 a.m. ET

Toy company buying Wizards of the Coast, Pokemon card maker, for $325M
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NEW YORK (CNNfn) - Hasbro Inc. is buying privately held Wizards of the Coast Inc., maker of the popular Pokemon trading card and Dungeons and Dragons role-playing games, for $325 million in stock, the companies announced Thursday.
     Hasbro will shell out a portion of its outstanding shares to Wizard's private stockholders, who already have agreed to approve the deal at their annual shareholder meeting Sept. 30. The deal isn't expected to have any impact on Hasbro's 1999 earnings and is expected to boost profits in 2000, the company said.
     The agreement gives Hasbro, one of the biggest producers of toys and games, exclusive domain over Wizards' best-known products, particularly its Pokemon trading card game -- a wildly popular game among children -- and the Dungeons and Dragons role-playing game. Wizards also publishes fantasy and science fiction books and operates 70 retail game establishments across the U.S.
     "Wizards of the Coast will enable us to significantly expand in the fast-growing games arena, which is a cornerstone of our growth strategy for the new millennium," said Alan Hassenfeld, Hasbro's president.
     The announcement comes a day after Hasbro Interactive unveiled plans to release two video game titles this fall for the Sega Dreamcast machine, which went on sale in the U.S. Thursday. It plans to release Centipede under the Atari brand and Worms Armageddon under the MicroProse brand.
     Hasbro Interactive is a unit of parent Hasbro that works with its library of toy and board games and turns them into interactive computer and hand-held games.
     Hasbro (HAS) stock rose 1/4 to 25-1/16 in midmorning New York trading.Back to top


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