Mattel shares plunged on Friday after the toy maker disclosed it had canceled a bond offering, citing an anonymous letter from a whistleblower.
The offering of 6.00% Senior Notes due 2027, which was worth an estimated $250 million, had been scheduled to close on Thursday but Mattel said in a regulatory filing that it was “made aware of an anonymous whistleblower letter” two days earlier.
“To provide the company with an opportunity to investigate the matters set forth in the letter, the offering … has been terminated,” the filing said, without providing any details of the content of the letter.
In trading Friday, Mattel shares fell 15% to $11.42, the stock’s biggest decline in six months.
Burt Flickinger, managing director at Strategic Resource Group, suggested that the disclosure of the whistleblower letter would add to investor concerns about Mattel.
“Its core brands and categories have been in a secular state of decline for decades,” he told Fox Business, citing continued weakness in the Barbie, Hot Wheels, and GI Joe brands, and a lack of licensed toys tied to leading children’s movies and media.
In July, Mattel, which has also been hit by the Toys R Us bankruptcy, announced a net loss of $108 million, or 31 cents a share. “This is the beginning of a long decline,” Flickinger said.
The company has about $3 billion in debt on its books, about $250 million of which is due next year. It said Friday it intends to refinance bonds that are due in October 2020 prior to maturity.