HgCapital puts smurf-maker on the block after six year holding


Smurf-maker Schleich is being put up for sale by private equity firm HgCapital six years after it bought the German company, it is understood.

The toy-maker, which makes plastic figures including dinosaurs, knights and farm animals, could be auctioned off at the beginning of next year, according to Reuters.

HgCapital says on its website it could target several multinational toy-makers, a sale to another buyout firm or an IPO, noting the success of recent German public listings of Kabel Deutschland, Brenntag and Tom Tailor.

The firm said Schleich’s range was attractive to retailers because of its low-seasonality, high sales and attractive margins.

Schleich had an enterprise value of about €165m when HgCapital picked it up in December 2006, and had EBITDA of about €23m last year.

That figure could see it sell for around the €185m mark.

HgCapital raised its most recent general buyout fund, the €1.9bn HgCapital 6, in 2009.

Last month European private equity firm Cinven completed its previously announced acquisition of speciality pharmaceutical company Mercury Pharma from HgCapital for £465m.

That deal netted HgCapital a 4.1 times return on its original investment.

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