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Hasbro Reportedly in Buyout Talks

The toymaker has held preliminary buyout talks with private-equity firm Providence Equity Partners, a report says.

PAWTUCKET, Rhode Island (

TheStreet

) --

Hasbro

(HAS) - Get Report

, 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

reports.

The talks, the status of which is unclear, are still in their early stages and may not lead to a deal, the

Journal

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.

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A Hasbro spokesman said the company wouldn't comment on "rumors and speculation," the

Journal

reports.

Providence Equity focuses mainly on media, entertainment and communications investments, managing more than $22 billion, the

Journal

says. It recently sold one of its portfolio companies, cable operator Bresnan Communications, to

Cablevision

(CVC)

.

-- Written by Joseph Woelfel in New York.

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