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Hasbro to Acquire Wizards of the Coast

Deal to cost game publishing giant approximately $325 million

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Originally posted on Sept. 11, 1999

Hasbro this week announced plans to acquire Wizards of the Coast, the company responsible for Magic: The Gathering, Dungeons & Dragons, the Pokemon card game and other popular games.

The purchase price is approximately $325 million, "subject to adjustment based on the audited net assets of Wizards of the Coast at closing, and certain contingent payment rights," according to a press release. The acquisition is expected to be completed by the end of September 1999.

Wizards of the Coast was founded in 1990 by Peter D. Adkison, and is best known for Magic: The Gathering, the world's all-time best-selling trading card game. Since its release in 1993, more than 6 million gamers have played M:tG, which is now available in 10 languages and played in more than 52 countries.

"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," Alan G. Hassenfeld, chairman and CEO of Hasbro, said in the release. "This acquisition brings us not only incredibly popular content and exciting future gaming initiatives, but also a visionary senior management team and creative talent, expanded distribution channels and an opportunity to participate in location-based entertainment. There is no end to the opportunities we see from cross-fertilization of our respective game portfolios, including the fast-growing areas of interactive software and on-line gaming. Plus, the year-round nature of these businesses will help to balance the seasonality of our diversified portfolio."

"We are very excited about this merger of the world's two greatest game companies," Adkison, president and CEO of Wizards of the Coast, said in the release. "We are proud to become part of the Hasbro tradition and culture, and look forward to working together to build on the strength of Hasbro's rich library of intellectual properties."

Adkison and his senior management team will continue to run Wizards of the Coast, which will remain based just outside of Seattle.

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