Smurfs Toy Firm Seeks New Home

Mark Kleinman, City Editor
Smurfs Toy Firm Seeks New Home

The multinational toy company with the rights to produce figurines of the Smurfs is being put up for sale by its British owner.

Schleich, which is based in Germany, has been owned by Hg Capital, a private equity firm, since 2006.

Hg has appointed bankers at Goldman Sachs to sell the company, which is likely to attract bidders including other investment firms as well as larger toy-makers. It could also examine a stock market listing.

Schleich produces low-price classic toy figurines, such as farm and wildlife animals, historical characters as well as The Smurfs, one of the best-known cartoon series in Britain.

The company's products are sold in over 30 countries, including Germany, the US, the UK and France.

Hg has benefited from significant sales growth at Schleich during its six years of ownership.

"The company benefits from relatively high barriers to entry given its wide product range, brand, established retailer network and a high quality, low cost supply base," Hg has said.

The private equity firm declined to comment on the sale process.