Character Group has acquired a 55 per cent equity stake in the Danish toy distributor, Proxy, enabling the UK toy firm to expand its reach across Europe.
The move – it has been suggested – has been made to enable the potential for a frictionless access to EU markets in a post-Brexit Britain.
The aim is for it to “provide a more compelling marketing and distribution proposition for toy companies and brand owners seeking UK and EU market access,” as well as “provide a vehicle for growth of the Group’s non-UK sales of its own developed product ranges.”
With 27 emplyees, Proxy currently sources product through a strong international network of suppliers and partners, including Character Group. All product lines are sold exclusively in the Nordic region – Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland – by Proxy.
The business is headed by CEO Morten Geschwendtner and CFO Mikkel Kjaersgaard, both of whom have over 25 years of experience in the toy industry.
The current team at Proxy will continue to run the day to day business while Jon Diver, Kiran Shah and Mike Hyde will join the operating board of Proxy.
The 55 per cent share was purchased with an initial cash consideration of DKK2.5 million – approximately £300,000 with further earn out consideration of up to DKK25 million – around £3million – depending on performance.
Jon Diver, join managing director of Character Group, said: “We are delighted to secure a formal working partnership with the team at Proxy. Having known and worked with them for a number of years we have recognised that there are many opportunities to enhance our current market positions.
“There are many synergies that we can achieve together, including Proxy being able to take advantage of our Far East infrastructure in terms of sourcing and quality assurance and, on a domestic basis, our in-house marketing and distribution capability.
“Both teams are of similar mindset and together will be in a better position to grow our businesses.”