PAWTUCKET, Rhode Island (
, the toymaker, has held preliminary talks with private-equity firm Providence Equity Partners about going company private in a leveraged buyout, the
Wall Street Journal
The talks, the status of which is unclear, are still in their early stages and may not lead to a deal, the
adds, citing people familiar with the matter. Other people said the discussions, which moved forward over the last several weeks, could have come to a temporary halt given the uncertainty in the markets.
Hasbro, which owns the Nerf and G.I. Joe brands, has a market capitalization of about $6 billion. A leveraged buyout of Hasbro, would mark the year's largest private-equity deal, the newspaper says.
A Hasbro spokesman said the company wouldn't comment on "rumors and speculation," the
Providence Equity focuses mainly on media, entertainment and communications investments, managing more than $22 billion, the
says. It recently sold one of its portfolio companies, cable operator Bresnan Communications, to
-- Written by Joseph Woelfel in New York.
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