Hamleys is sold to French for £60m
A French company has acquired Hamleys, the 252-year-old toy retailer, in a deal worth £60m, and vowed to press ahead with its international expansion in Asia and the Middle East.
Groupe Ludendo, a family-owned business with more than 300 stores in five countries, including France, Spain and Belgium, has bought Hamleys after the winding-up committee of the failed Icelandic bank Landsbanki put its majority shareholding in the chain up for sale.
Jean-Michel Grunberg, chairman of Ludendo, which owns the La Grande Recre and Fran Carl Weber retail brands, said: "We have every intention of maintaining this unique brand and what it stands for, and building on its successful international development."
The family of David "Spotty" Rowland, the property developer and Tory donor, have sold their minority stake as part of the £60m transaction. Hamleys was founded in 1760 and has traded on Regent Street since 1881. It has 22 stores, including in Dublin, Edinburgh, Dubai, India and Russia. Its underlying profits rose by 21 per cent to £5.6m for the year to 26 March 2011.
World news in pictures
Far-right French historian, 78-year-old Dominique Venner, commits suicide in Notre Dame in protest against gay marriage
Plenty of Fish dating site founder pulls 'Intimate Encounters' option to ward off sleazy men
Oklahoma tornado: Rescue effort nears an end as authorities say they are confident there are no bodies or survivors left in the rubble
Video emerges of Pope Francis reportedly performing an exorcism in St Peter’s Square
- 1 Gay couple beaten in park urge MPs to moderate language on gay marriage
- 2 Swedes set up 'ultimate Viking movie'
- 3 After woman sells virginity for $780,000, here are the results of our prostitution survey
- 4 China agrees to impose carbon targets by 2016
- 5 Far-right French historian, 78-year-old Dominique Venner, commits suicide in Notre Dame in protest against gay marriage
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.
iJobs Money & Business
Negotiable: Orgtel: SAS BI Content Developer - Bristol - Up to £370/day! Our C...
£850 - £1000 per day: Orgtel: Programme Change Manager - Banking - London - £8...
£180 - £230 per day: Orgtel: Operations Analyst - Leading Bank in the City of ...
£500 per day: Orgtel: A top tier banking client urgently requires Finance Busi...