A throw of the dice lands makers of 'Snakes and Ladders' with new owner

Crown Products Group, the Aim-listed leisure group has expanded its interests in the supply of adventure playgrounds to leisure centres and retailers with two more acquisitions, writes Nigel Cope.

It has acquired Snakes and Ladders, which manages venture playground facilities, and Yorkshire Playgrounds which installs and runs themed leisure facilities. With the purchase of Snakes and Ladders, Crown says that it has secured the services of its managing director, David Griffiths. Mr Griffiths was previously the chief executive of Wembley Stadium and the Queen Elizabeth Jubilee Sports Centre, Hong Kong. The deal has been struck on an earn-out basis which will be calculated as a maximum of twice profits before tax in the third year.

Crown said the acquisition of Yorkshire Playgrounds will also be paid by way of an earn-out calculation over one year. Crown is taking advantage of the increasing number of leisure centres and retailers keen to offer a diversion to younger children.

Crown came to the Alternative Investment Market last December after acquiring a fine art stationery group. It is also distributing a range of arts and craft products based on Walt Disney characters. In June, the company completed its fifth acquisition when it acquired RGM Originals, a greetings card specialist.

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