Hamley?s owner renews focus

Baugur Group sells off investments for £430 million to focus on retail.
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The firm has sold its media, technology and financial investments to two independent firms, as it makes way to build on its portfolio of brands.

The firm will also rebalance its geographical orientation, with 85 per cent of its assets to be spread between Britain, US and Scandinavia.

As a result of the sell off, its UK assets, which include Hamleys, House of Fraser and fashion chains Karen Millen, Oasis and Warehouse, will rise from 43 per cent to 70.5 per cent of its total assets.

This may see the firm increase its focus on Hamleys, as it continues to expand its international presence.

Stodir Invest will buy the media and telecoms assets while Styrkur Invest will purchase the financial investments. The group said it won’t be a shareholder in either company. However, two of its executive board members will step down and become CEOs of both firms.

Assets to be sold include Icelandic investment firm FL Group, media group 365 and telecommunications and IT business, Teymi.

Baugur's chief executive, Gunnar Sigurdsson, said the agreement adds to the group's "existing war-chest, which will allow us to take advantage of investment opportunities which will arise in the current market conditions."

"We will also continue to build on the existing strengths of our brand portfolio which already is valued in excess of £ 1.5 billion and has significant global potential," he said.

Last June Baugur restructured its executive board and in December sold its property portfolio to FL Group.

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