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Hasbro Acquires Cranium, Inc.

The $77.5 million deal was announced and closed in January 2008

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Cranium Game Box

Cranium Game Box

Image courtesy of Cranium Inc.
Hasbro, the second-largest toy and game company in the world, announced on Jan. 4, 2008, that it would acquire Cranium, Inc., publisher of more than four dozen games and a variety of books and toys.

Just three weeks later, on Jan. 25, Hasbro announced that the deal had closed.

Hasbro's original announcement indicated that the company would pay a base purchase price of $77.5 million, which may be adjusted based on Cranium's net assets on the closing date. The closing announcement did not include an updated amount.

Cranium published its first game in 1998. Since then, the company has sold more than 22 million games, books, and toys worldwide. Among its current games are Cranium, Cranium Wow, Hullabaloo, Hoopla, Pop 5, Conga, and Zigity.

Hasbro, founded in 1923, acquired Milton Bradley in 1984, Parker Brothers in 1991, Avalon Hill in 1998, and Wizards of the Coast in 1999. Hasbro's global games and puzzles net revenues in 2006 were approximately $1.3 billion.

Brian Goldner, Hasbro's chief operating officer, said in a press release, "This acquisition is consistent with Hasbro's ongoing strategy to bring to market the most innovative toy and game brands in the world. As the global leader in games, Hasbro is in a unique position to maximize the long-term potential of the Cranium brand, with real opportunity for growth in international markets."

Richard Tait, co-founder of Cranium and the company's "Grand Poo Bah," said in the release, "A decade ago, we set out to create a brand that would give everyone the chance to shine. We've accomplished that and so much more, making history with great products that have won five Toy Industry Association Game of the Year awards. Now, the next chapter in Cranium's story begins. The Cranium brand will benefit from the expertise and global presence of an industry leader, Hasbro, who is as passionate about games as we are."

In an article by the news service Reuters, an analyst for Wachovia Capital Markets estimated that Cranium has revenues of more than $100 million. That same article also said that Tait and Cranium co-founder Whit Alexander "would stay on at Cranium for a while to help with the transition and then eventually pursue new ventures."

Under a merger agreement signed by the two companies, a newly formed subsidiary of Hasbro was to merge with Cranium. Cranium will thus become a subsidiary of Hasbro.

The merger was subject to closing conditions, including the approval of Cranium's shareholders and obtaining necessary consents. The purchase price was to be divided between repayment of Cranium's outstanding debt and payments to Cranium's shareholders.

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