French group eyes Hamleys
09 July 2012
London-based toy store Hamleys could be acquired by Groupe Ludendo for $93m, according to reports.
The French group runs toy stores across France, Belgium, Switzerland and Spain and the deal could conclude by the end of the month according to The Sunday Times.
Hamleys is currently owned primarily by nationalised Icelandic bank Landsbanki and saw revenues of $66.5m last year. It was sold to the bank by investment group Baugur for $90.8m during the recession. A minority stake in the chain of approximately 36% is also owned by private equity group Bracken, run by David Rowland, one of the UK’s richest men.
The toy retailer is supervised by a committee charged with selling off a number of Landsbanki’s assets. The committee has already auctioned off frozen food supermarket Iceland.
Hamleys operates eight stores in the UK and Ireland. It has also opened a small number of stores in Denmark, Jordan, Mumbai and most recently opened a store in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Its flagship London Regent Street store opened in 1881 after a fire destroyed founder William Hamley’s original shop, Noah’s Ark.
Groupe Ludendo owns toy store chains including Starjouet, La Grande Récré, Diverdrak and Rue De Lat Fete. It also acquired Swiss toy retailer Franz Carl Weber in 2006.
David Hing, London