Iconic Hamleys stores sold to French group

Ben Southwood
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BRITISH toy shop Hamleys was yesterday sold to French toymaker Groupe Ludendo for £60m.

The family-owned French giant has taken the 252-year-old business out of the hands of failed Icelandic lender Landsbanki, which last year rejected a £60m offer from the Bahraini investment bank Global Banking Corporation.

“We are delighted to be acquiring Hamleys today,” said Jean-Michel Grunberg, chairman and founder of Groupe Ludendo, which has a portfolio of 300 stores and turned over €450m last year.

Hamleys has 22 outlets, including its flagship on Regent Street.

“This deal fits with our strategy to grow our business through the acquisition of well-established brands with global dimensions,” Grunberg added.

A dizzying array of firms are listed as advisers on the deal, including Rothschild, Travers Smith, BNP Paribas, HSBC, Barclays and Société Générale.