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Hasbro buys D&D Beyond for $146.3M from Fandom

Tim Baysinger
Apr 14, 2022
Illustration of a dragon in a top hat and monocle. 

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Hasbro has purchased D&D Beyond — a digital toolset and gaming companion for "Dungeons & Dragons" — from Fandom for $146.3 million in an all-cash deal.

Why it matters: Hasbro has stepped up its gaming push under CEO Chris Cocks amid a proxy battle from activist investor Alta Fox Capital Management.

  • In 2019, Hasbro purchased studio Entertainment One for nearly $4 billion to aid its ambitions into films and TV shows under former CEO Brian Goldner. Goldner died after a battle with prostate cancer last fall.
  • D&D Beyond will give the toymaker more data on Dungeons & Dragons gamers that should help with product development, live services and tools, and regional expansions.

Details: D&D Beyond will be absorbed into Hasbro's Wizards of the Coast division, which oversees "Dungeons & Dragons" as well as other gaming franchises like "Magic: The Gathering."

  • The deal is expected to close in the second or third quarter of this year.

Catch up quick: Alta Fox has criticized Hasbro for going away from its core business too much and dragging down its stock price, specifically labeling its eOne purchase as "ill-advised" (💭 Tim's thought bubble: This sounds familiar for those who've covered AT&T for the last four years).

  • Alta Fox has also called for Hasbro to spin off Wizards of the Coast.
  • Alta Fox owns a 2.5% stake in Hasbro.
  • In February, the firm nominated five directors to the company's 11-member board. In March, Hasbro rejected a settlement offer that would have had only one of Alta Fox's nominees join the board.

What they're saying: "The acquisition of D&D Beyond will accelerate our progress in both gaming and direct to consumer, two priority areas of growth for Hasbro, providing immediate access to a loyal, growing player base," Cocks said.

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