Los Angeles Business Journal

Jakks Rejects Oaktree’s Buyout Offer

By Deborah Crowe Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Jakks Pacific Inc. on Wednesday turned down Oaktree Capital Management's proposal to take the company private, calling the $670 million bid “inadequate."

The Los Angeles investment management firm’s $20-per-share offer was a 25 percent premium to the Malibu toymakers’ closing price on Sept. 13, when the bid was announced. Oaktree has a 4.9 percent stake in Jakks, which makes action figures and other toys based on licensed properties, such as Hello Kitty, Cabbage Patch Kids and Disney characters.

Chief Executive Stephen Berman said Oaktree was trying to take advantage of the struggling economy to buy Jakks below its intrinsic value. The company’s board met several times and consulted with outside advisors before rejecting the offer.

"The board unanimously believes that this is not the right time to sell the company," Berman wrote in a letter to Oaktree that was made public after the markets closed. “Execution of the company’s strategic plan – including potentially transformative projects planned and already underway – will provide significantly greater value to the company’s stockholders.”

Oaktree has not released a response to the letter.

Shares earlier closed down 33 cents, or 1.9 percent, to $17.13 on the Nasdaq.