Hamleys’ Chinese owner considers sale

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Hamleys

Hamleys owner C.banner International has launched a strategic review of the toy retailer, Sky News has reported.

The Chinese business bought the iconic British retailer just three years ago, but is now reportedly exploring options after several expressions of interest in a takeover from unnamed parties.

Sources said talks were at a preliminary stage and could lead to a formal sale process.

Vermillion Partners has been appointed to handle discussions with potential bidders.

If successful, it would be the fourth new owner for Hamleys in just 15 years.

The news comes days after the retailer drafted in new chief finance chief Yong Shen to replace Alex Jablonowski.

Just a fortnight ago, Hamleys revealed that for the year to December 31, 2017, profits swung from £2.6 million in 2016 to a £12 million loss, while revenues fell 2.5 per cent to £66.3 million.

Despite the results, Hamleys said current trading was on an improving trajectory, with 2.7 per cent UK like-for-like sales growth in the first eight months of 2018.

The accounts also added that Hamleys was “on track to return to net profitability in the next 12 months”.

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