Lego buys out partner in schools unit

The toy maker Lego has taken full control of its education division after buying the remaining 49 per cent stake for €4.4m (£3.7m) from the UK-listed education supplier RM.

Lego Education Europe distributes specialist branded toys and educational tools for use in schools. Lego, based in Denmark, is paying €2.2m in cash and a further €2.2m in debt repayment.

RM, which is selling non-core assets, is also selling parts of its separate Dacta toy business to Tolo Toys Learning for €270,000.

Lego Education Europe was set up in 2010, after previously being part of Dacta.

RM indicated that the businesses it is selling "are expected to be loss-making for the 14 months to November 30, 2011".

Shares in RM, which have fallen in value by two-thirds over the past year, rose 12.5 per cent to 65.25p.

Privately-owned Lego has been passionate about supporting education efforts as it claims to be a universal toy which crosses language barriers, helps children understand construction and logic, and encourages imagination and collaborative play.

Lego was voted "Britain's Greatest Toy" after a poll by Channel 4 at Christmas 2010.