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French buy British toy store Hamleys

French buy British toy store Hamleys
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British toy chain Hamleys has been sold to French group Ludendo for around 75 million euros.

Ludendo will add Hamleys – which has been in existence for over 250 years – to its portfolio of more than 300 stores in five countries.

The main seller was Icelandic lender Landsbanki. It ended up with the stake in Hamleys when the previous owner – the Icelandic retail group Baugur – collapsed.

Ludendo plans to expand Hamleys, particularly in the Middle east, but said it but will not make any major changes.

“Hamleys will give us the platform to accelerate our international development starting with the UK and into new markets,” chairman Jean-Michel Grunberg said on Monday.

Hamleys, established by Cornishman William Hamley in London in 1760, has its flagship store in Regent Street and is one of the more popular tourist attractions, with seven floors of toys.

Outside London, Hamleys operates in Glasgow and Dublin. It also has stores in seven overseas markets, including Dubai and India.