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HgCapital sells off German toy manufacturer Schleich to Ardian

May 19, 2014


GERMAN toy maker Schleich, known for its lifelike figurines, has been bought by French private equity firm Ardian from its British owner HgCapital, the two private equity companies said yesterday.

Neither side disclosed the price of the transaction, which the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung yesterday reported was €220m (£179m), citing unnamed sources in the finance industry.

Ardian, formerly known as AXA Private Equity, used €95m of loans from DZ Bank and Landesbank Baden-Wuerttemberg to fund the deal, finance sources familiar with the transaction told Reuters.

Founded in 1935, Schleich is one of Germany's biggest toymakers with products sold in more than 50 countries, posting 2013 sales of €106m.

Schleich was a family-run business until HgCapital bought an 80 per cent stake for €165m in December 2006. HgCapital tried to sell the firm a year ago but pulled out when the bids came in at around €160m, falling short of its hopes.

"With its new strategy of increasingly expanding into play worlds as well as further penetrating both international markets and new distribution channels, we see significant additional growth potential for the company," said Caspar von Meibohm, managing director at Ardian.


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Source: City A.M. (UK)

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