Britain's Hamleys sold to French toys giant Ludendo for £60 mn

Britain's best-known toys retailer Hamleys has been sold to French toys giant Groupe Ludendo in a deal worth £60 million, for an undisclosed sum.

Hamleys is primarily owned by nationalised Icelandic bank Landsbanki, which holds a 65-per cent stake. Bracken, a private equity group, run by British tycoon and conservative party donor David Rowland, owns a minority 30-per cent interest in the company.

Landsbanki took control of Hamleys when its previous owner, Icelandic investment company, the Baugur Group went bankrupt following the global financial crisis. Baugur had bought the toys retailer in 2003 for nearly £59 million.

The renowned 252-year company owns a seven-story flagship store on London's Regent Street besides owning eight more stores in the UK and Ireland. It also has shops in Russia, Denmark, Cyprus, India, Jordan, UAE and Saudi Arabia.

Hamleys entered the Indian market in 2010 through an exclusive franchise arrangement with Reliance Brands Ltd, a unit of Reliance Industries Ltd. It has two outlets in Mumbai and one in Chennai.

Hamleys offers one of the best selections of toys from around the world including its own brands.