Mattel draws activist investor seeking changes at toymaker

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© Reuters. The Mattel company logo is pictured at the entrance of the Montoi plant in the municipality of Escobedo, Mexico March 15, 2022. REUTERS/Daniel Becerril/File Photo

(Reuters) – Activist investor Barington Capital has built an undisclosed stake in Mattel (NASDAQ:) and is seeking big changes to boost the toymaker’s stock, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday, citing a letter sent to CEO Ynon Kreiz.

Barington believes Mattel’s share price will continue to underperform unless it takes steps such as pursuing strategic alternatives for its Fisher-Price and American Girl businesses, stopping what the investor views as excessive stock-based compensation and launching a $2 billion share-buyback plan, according to the report.

Mattel and Barrington Capital did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Barington Founder James Mitarotonda said that he believes these actions, along with improvements Mattel is already making in its core fashion-doll and toy-vehicle divisions, have the potential to more than double the share price in three years, the report added.

Barington is also asking the company to separate the CEO and chairman roles, both of which are held by Kreiz, the report said.

Shares of the toy maker rose 5% in extended trading.

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