Mattel to buy Learning Co.

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Mattel, El Segundo, Calif., in a major acquisition, said it will buy Learning Co., Cambridge, Mass., for $3.8 billion. Learning Co., with projected 1998 revenue of about $850 million, is the second-largest consumer software marketer after Microsoft Corp. Mattel's agencies include Foote, Cone & Belding and Ogilvy & Mather, both Los Angeles. Learning Co. executives could not be reached at deadline. Separately, Mattel warned that fourth-quarter sales and profits will be depressed by a ``substantial'' decline in new retail orders. The surprise earnings announcement sent Mattel stock plummeting to a 52-week low of $21.44 a share, off 29%, in late afternoon trading.

Copyright December 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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