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Hasbro Boosts Mobile Unit With Majority Stake in Backflip

July 8 (Bloomberg) -- Hasbro Inc., the world’s second-largest toymaker, purchased a majority stake in Backflip Studios Inc. for $112 million in cash as it attempts to capture a bigger piece of the mobile-gaming market.

Hasbro acquired a 70 percent stake in Backflip Studios, according to a statement from the Pawtucket, Rhode Island-based toy company. Closely held Backflip, founded in 2009, has developed such mobile games as DragonVale and Paper Toss. Hasbro didn’t disclose financial data for Backflip and said the transaction would be “slightly accretive” to its 2013 results.

The toy industry has experienced slowing sales growth amid the rising popularity of tablets among kids and teenagers. In response, companies have made toys that integrate mobile applications and handheld games based on popular brands. Hasbro is looking for ways to boost revenue, which declined 4.6 percent to $4.01 billion last year.

“The acquisition of Backflip fits perfectly into our strategy of extending our brands into all forms and formats,” Brian Goldner, Chief Executive Officer of Hasbro, said in the statement. “As mobile play continues its rapid growth, Backflip’s leadership position, great games and established network of users, makes Hasbro a more meaningful participant in digital gaming.”

Hasbro rose 0.4 percent to $46.79 at 3:21 p.m. in New York. The shares had gained 30 percent this year through July 5 compared to a 14 percent advance for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.

Backflip is based in Boulder, Colorado.

To contact the reporter on this story: Matt Townsend in New York at mtownsend9@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Robin Ajello at rajello@bloomberg.net

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