Hamleys seeks pounds 12m in placing

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The Independent Online
SHARES in Hamleys, which boasts that it is the finest toy shop in the world, are being offered at 185p each as part of a placing and intermediaries offer to raise pounds 12m, writes Heather Connon.

That will be used to repay pounds 13.8m of debt taken on to finance the management buyout in 1989. As well as the new stock, existing shareholders are selling 3.3 million shares. Howard Dyer, chairman, is selling 280,000 and Stephen Woodbridge, managing director, 28,000. They will be left with 7.2 and 0.9 per cent respectively.

The placing values the company at pounds 42.3m or 17.8 times the 10.4p of earnings achieved in the year to the end of January, after adjusting for the flotation. That is below the retail sector, which is valued on an average multiple of about 19.5.

Hamleys estimates it would have paid a 4.7p dividend last year, had it been quoted, giving a yield of 3.2 per cent.