D&D General Hasbro activist begins proxy fight, urges Dungeons & Dragons spinoff


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Divine1943

Explorer
So, there's a huuuge difference between "being corporate" and "shareholders calling the shots."

Shareholders are generally pretty quiet about corporate strategy. Typically, the shots are called by the executive board, not directly by the shareholders.
Who are answerable to the shareholders ultimately. I disagree with what you’re writing here. Shareholders’ bottom line ultimately decides policy, giving direction to those who shape strategy. Hasbro has a market cap of some 14billion, and as of me writing this comment has seen a jump of +6.42 (6.62%) today in light of this news.
 

Mannahnin

Scion of Murgen (He/Him)

Activists explaining their case.
I'm not 100% sure on the financials, but Finkel being one of the nominees, and his comments, give me some confidence. There is definitely opportunity for better handling of Arena and the pro play environment, especially in comparison to eSports in other games.

This may actually be a good idea.

Note that I write that primarily as a gamer, and one without a ton of interest in D&D-branded spinoff media products like movies and TV shows.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Shareholders’ bottom line ultimately decides policy, giving direction to those who shape strategy.

That's typically only in very very broad strokes, and also after the fact. That's why there's a special term ("activist investor") for those who take action to push specific strategy - it isn't the usual shareholder engagement.

Hasbro has a market cap of some 14billion, and as of me writing this comment has seen a jump of +6.42 (6.62%) today in light of this news.

Short term, immediate changes in stock price are nice for day traders, but are not typically indicative of anything in the long term. In another news cycle or two, that price could easily drop. But this will probably take months to resolve. One news cycle here ore there isn't dependable.
 


Mannahnin

Scion of Murgen (He/Him)
I should buy some Hasbro.

As a customer, I dislike sleazy stock shenanigans thst could threaten products I enjoy.

I do not believe it will be a threat to the products we enjoy but it could be a threat to products we might enjoy in the TV/Movie and video game space.
Yep. Based on the pitch and some of the folks involved (like Jon Finkel) I strongly doubt that it's a threat to the gaming products. It may be a threat to future potential spinoff TV/movie products.
 


ECMO3

Hero
"Hey this part is super successful you should cut it off" that doesn't make sense to me...

and I don't know that WotC would be better or worse or just the same without hasbro... but it grew this big WITH hasbro
That is because you are looking at it wrong. It is not whether it is good for the Hasbro brand, the question is whether it is good for the people who own Hasbro (investors).

If they spin of WOTC, the current company is split into two companies. The people who own the current company (shareholders) would gain new shares in the new company WOTC "for free" and the current shares in Hasbro either go down in value (so the Hasbro shares are worth less) or go through a reverse split (so owners own fewer shares).

At that point the question is whether WOTC+new Hasbro would grow faster than current Hasbro alone. If it would then it is in the financial interest of the owners to spin off WOTC.

That is a simplification, an individual's position on the stock also matters and if someone is tied to one or the other company through a non-ownership interest that can matter too, but those are individual considerations and in terms of broader financial considerations, the performance if they separate vs the performance if they don't is what would drive this decision.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
I do not believe it will be a threat to the products we enjoy but it could be a threat to products we might enjoy in the TV/Movie and video game space.
Why not both...?

And the TV/Movie stuff are part of the products thst I enjoy, along with merchandising: I am actively excited Hasbro's current ambitions, and want them to happen.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
I should buy some Hasbro.




Yep. Based on the pitch and some of the folks involved (like Jon Finkel) I strongly doubt that it's a threat to the gaming products. It may be a threat to future potential spinoff TV/movie products.
First, the movie/TV products are about equal in importance to me to the base game. Second, just because they have gamers on board with Ideas for the game doesn't mean the gaming products are under threat, precisely from said gamers with Ideas.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Activists explaining their case.

I think we need to be careful when we use the term "activists" when it comes to these types of issues.

"Shareholder activists" ("SA") can mean a lot of things. For example, SA can push to reduce CEO compensation. Or SA can demand that the company pay its workers more (usually with the idea that increased wages will lead to more long term profits). Or SA can demand that the company provide dividends instead of sitting on cash. And so on.

In this case, the SA is a hedge fund that promises investors returns well-above average. The interest of the SA is to make a large short-term profit, either through the adoption of this strategy, through increased volatility that leads to a scenario wherein the stock rises (a buyout by another company or a stock buyback, for example) or through getting "paid off."

That doesn't mean that the proposal doesn't necessarily have merit; but this isn't about the long-term viability or success of the company either in whole or in component parts.
 

darjr

I crit!
I dint know if this hasn’t been mentioned.

Without Hasbro the grand experiment that was 4e would not have been possible, nor the grand endeavor of 5e.

Whatever you think about either edition, D&D would have probably been mothballed for more Magic only projects.

Note I am NOT knocking magic either.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
I think we need to be careful when we use the term "activists" when it comes to these types of issues.

"Shareholder activists" ("SA") can mean a lot of things. For example, SA can push to reduce CEO compensation. Or SA can demand that the company pay its workers more (usually with the idea that increased wages will lead to more long term profits). Or SA can demand that the company provide dividends instead of sitting on cash. And so on.

In this case, the SA is a hedge fund that promises investors returns well-above average. The interest of the SA is to make a large short-term profit, either through the adoption of this strategy, through increased volatility that leads to a scenario wherein the stock rises (a buyout by another company or a stock buyback, for example) or through getting "paid off."

That doesn't mean that the proposal doesn't necessarily have merit; but this isn't about the long-term viability or success of the company either in whole or in component parts.
Yeah, and I despise that sort of approach: it turns everything it touches into garbage.
 



UngainlyTitan

Legend
Supporter
Why not both...?
What?
And the TV/Movie stuff are part of the products thst I enjoy, along with merchandising: I am actively excited Hasbro's current ambitions, and want them to happen.
Well, to be honest, so am I, but I am not a stockholder and I am not going to solicit shareholder support for any particular side in this argument. I simply do have enough information.
 

Mannahnin

Scion of Murgen (He/Him)
I think we need to be careful when we use the term "activists" when it comes to these types of issues.

"Shareholder activists" ("SA") can mean a lot of things. For example, SA can push to reduce CEO compensation. Or SA can demand that the company pay its workers more (usually with the idea that increased wages will lead to more long term profits). Or SA can demand that the company provide dividends instead of sitting on cash. And so on.

In this case, the SA is a hedge fund that promises investors returns well-above average. The interest of the SA is to make a large short-term profit, either through the adoption of this strategy, through increased volatility that leads to a scenario wherein the stock rises (a buyout by another company or a stock buyback, for example) or through getting "paid off."

That doesn't mean that the proposal doesn't necessarily have merit; but this isn't about the long-term viability or success of the company either in whole or in component parts.
Part of the pitch is about those returns. Part of the pitch talks about excessive executive compensation. Part of it talks about improving customer value with changes to how D&D, Arena, and MTGO and MTG (in paper) are supported.
 

I'm not 100% sure on the financials, but Finkel being one of the nominees, and his comments, give me some confidence. There is definitely opportunity for better handling of Arena and the pro play environment, especially in comparison to eSports in other games.
Other than reading their bios on that site, I know nothing about any of those 5 candidates. But, if I was a shareholder, my summary would be that none of those 5 know anything about running a gaming company or sitting on a gaming company board. 2 are in IT management, 1 in software and the other two in unrelated industries. I would note vote for any of them. Not an impressive slate of candidates for the board.
 

Zaukrie

New Publisher
Hedge funds breaking up companies rarely works out well for product, customers, or employees. It does wonders for SHORT TERM returns, however.

And, no, shareholders have very little influence on companies. A tiny, miniscule, number of people run companies, some of which MIGHT have been nominated by a shareholder (or group). But that's pretty rare.
 

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