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Learning Co. Sale

Mattel is looking to unload The Learning Company less than a year after it purchased it. Mattel is separating The Learning Company from the remainder of Mattel Interactiv...
Mattel is looking to unload The Learning Company less than a year after it purchased it. Mattel is separating The Learning Company from the remainder of Mattel Interactive and has hired Credit Suisse Boston to sell the software maker that it spent $3.6 billion to acquire last May. The purchase had been part of CEO Jill Barad's strategy to expand Mattel into electronic toys and video games, but accounting problems and huge losses related to acquisition led to Barad's resignation instead. At the time of the acquisition, Mattel had expected The Learning Company to contribute $50 million annually to its bottom line; instead the company posted losses of $183 million in the fourth quarter and $206 million for the year. Mattel will treat the unit as a discontinued operation effective March 31. The Wall Street Journal estimates that the sale price for The Learning Company could range from $500 million to $1 billion, depending on included licenses, with Havas, Knowledge Universe, and Infogrames said to be interested.

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