Jeremy Wilks and Jan Nielsen purchase distributor for an undisclosed fee.

Former LEGO execs acquire Tolo Toys

Two former LEGO executives have acquired Tolo Toys Learning Limited.

Business partners Jeremy Wilks (pictured) and Jan Nielsen purchased the Wrexham-based educational toy distributor for an undisclosed sum as part of a management buy-in.

The transaction has been supported by finance provided by HSBC’s North East Wales Commercial team.

Wilks worked for LEGO for five years in a range of roles, including territory manager, product manager and planning manager.

Tolo’s brands are aimed at the educational market, including Tolo, Velcro, Wedgits and Makedo.

Wilks and Nielson plan to rebrand the business "to more accurately reflect" the diverse range of toy brands they distribute, as well as adding to the brands they already represent.

This week, the agency for the leading Swiss toy brand, Geomag, was secured for the UK and Ireland toy market. 

The company forecasts that business will grow by over 15 per cent in 2013 compared to last year.

Director Jeremy Wilks said: “The retail toy industry is a seasonal led business with the majority of trade conducted around Christmas. 

"This is what makes Tolo Toys Learning an attractive proposition as the educational toy market offers a more consistent flow of business throughout the year. Over two thirds of our business is in this market and we want to develop that further.”

He added: "HSBC’s support has been integral to the success of the acquisition. Nick and his team took the time to understand our business and plans for where we want to take this company, and that made a real difference."

Nick Shannon, HSBC International Commercial Manager, added: "Jeremy and Jan have true pedigree in the toy markets and know the key people in the industry. They have big plans for Tolo Toys Learning Limited and we are confident that they can take the business on to the next level."

Pictured (Left to right): Jacqui Garside (Accounts), Jeremy Wilks (MD) and Ruth Dello Stritto (customer services).

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