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Tyco Buying Universal Matchbox

May 6, 1992

NEW YORK (AP) _ Tyco Toys Inc., which has expanded by acquiring other toymakers in recent years, announced Wednesday its biggest purchase yet, Universal Matchbox Group Ltd., the well-known maker of minature cars and trucks.

Tyco said it would pay $10.75 a share, or about $135 million, for Matchbox. That represents a premium of 75 cents over the company’s stock price, which rose $3.62 1/2 a share to $10 on the New York Stock Exchange Wednesday.

The purchase is subject to the agreement of Matchbox shareholders. However, 60 percent of the toymaker’s stock is held by its chairman, David C.W. Yeh, who agreed to the transaction and effectively sealed the deal.

Tyco’s other acquisitions have included Viewmaster-Ideal Group, Nasta Toys, and Playtime Products. The company, the nation’s fourth-biggest toymaker, is one of the biggest makers of radio-controlled toys, and through its purchases has branched out into other product lines.

Matchbox had 1991 sales of $167 million.

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