Schleich sells off stake

Play figure specialist Schleich has sold a majority stake to German private equity investor HgCapital.
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A member of Schleich's current management will retain a minority interest in the business. The parties have agreed not to disclose the purchase price for HgCapital’s stake which was previously held by three family groups.

The Schleich business currently employs about 200 people and has nearly doubled its revenues between 2003 and 2005. Current year revenues are expected to rise materially to about €80 million, with more than half of the revenues coming from outside Germany.

The current range comprises 430 products, including principal revenue mainstays of animal figurines depicting Farm Life and Wild Life. The structure of the company will not be affected by the transaction, and the existing management of Schleich will be retained.

Justin von Simson of HgCapital in Frankfurt commented: “Schleich has delivered impressive performance in recent years. We are also convinced that the company has excellent prospects for continued profitable growth in Germany and other markets. We will do our best to support Schleich’s management with our resources and our experience to realise this potential in the years ahead."

Paul Kraut, managing partner of Schleich, added: “Being a potent and experienced private equity investor, HgCapital is the ideal partner for us to preserve our company’s independence and simultaneously to be able to maintain the course of growth on which we have embarked and which HgCapital supports unreservedly. We are firmly convinced that, with HgCapital as guarantor of continuity, we shall be able to carry Schleich’s success story forward.”

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