Hamleys, the world’s oldest toy shop and a London tourist attraction in its own right, is said to be on the verge of being bought by a Chinese retailer.
C.banner International Holdings, a Hong Kong-listed footwear retailer, says it is in advanced talks to acquire the famous seven-storey shop on Regent Street – where Queen Elizabeth bought toys for her children.
Hamleys, in foreign hands since 2003, was bought by the French Ludendo Groupe three years ago in a deal reportedly worth over 80 million euros at today’s exchange rate.
The Chinese company says discussions with Ludendo will be finalised in the near future.
Its interest in Hamleys has come to light during President Xi Jinping’s state visit to Britain.