Sources say the toymaker is exploring a deal to buy DreamWorks,“Squawk Box” host Andrew Ross Sorkin reported in The New York Times.
But Hasbro has a lucrative contract with Walt Disney to produce toys based on its “Star Wars” and Marvel Comics properties. Owning a rival animation studio could present a problem, said Steph Wissink, senior analyst at Piper Jaffray.
“Disney would have to sign off or bless this deal. It is too big of a portion of Hasbro’s business to put that piece at risk, and I think it would be a game changer,” Wissink told “Squawk Box” on Thursday.
Piper Jaffray estimates that 25 to 30 percent of Hasbro’s business is tied up with Disney. Wissink said a change in that relationship would impact Hasbro’s EBITDA.
Read More 10 of the Hottest Holiday Toys for 2014
DreamWorks has a lower profit margin profile than toy making, said Wissink, but the buy would give Hasbro the capability to be more competitive at a time when toys based on media content are in demand.
“Character-driven sales in the toy industry are working. If you’re looking at content-driven properties, they’re outperforming non-content-driven properties,” Wissink said.
Hasbro’s toy lines include My Little Pony and Transformers.
DreamWorks has turned out hits such as “Shrek” and “Kung Fu Panda,” but it has lately released box-office disappointments, including “Turbo” and “Rise of the Guardians.” The studio, led by CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg, recently held talks with another potential buyer, Japanese telecommunications giant SoftBank.