Read The Toy Book’s Toy Report for this week! (4/13/10)
The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (“Teachers’”) has acquired a significant minority stake of common stock in Munchkin, Inc. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
This latest transaction follows Munchkin’s January acquisition of Lindam, a UK manufacturer of safety gates and safety accessories, adding to Munchkin’s existing portfolio of infant products and pet products through its Bamboo division.
Munchkin was established in 1991 and still privately held.
Game sales in hobby stores were up from 5 to 10 percent in 2009 despite the worst economy in generations, according to a report in the new issue of Internal Correspondence. The growth was driven by a resurgence in Magic: The Gathering sales and by board game sales up by double-digit percentages. Yu-Gi-Oh! and the return of HeroClix also helped support improved sales. Non-collectible miniature sales were slightly down, and RPG sales were down approximately 10 percent in 2009.
Richard Yanofsky, president of WowWee Canada, and Peter Yanofsky, president of WowWee USA, have set up a company to buy out the current shareholders of the Optimal Group, of which WowWee is a wholly-owned subsidiary, and have the support of Optimal’s board of directors.
The offer of $2.40 per share represents a premium of approximately 50 percent over the closing price of the Class “A” shares of $1.60 on the NASDAQ on March 16, 2010. The purchase would make Optimal a privately held company.
According to www.chinaknowledge.com, the export value of toys in Guangdong Province amounted to $330 million in February, up 47.1 percent year on year, according to statistics from the local customs.
In the first two months of this year, the province’s toy export value rose 26.3 percent from the same period of last year to $720 million, with $260 million worth of toys exported to the U.S., accounting for 36.1 percent of the total toy exports of Guangdong.
Bloomberg is reporting that MGA Entertainment Inc., will consider selling shares in an initial public offering, according to CEO Isaac Larian. Larian, who controls more than 80 percent of MGA Entertainment, ruled out a share sale this year. The toymaker didn’t proceed with IPO plans in the past because of litigation with rival toymaker Mattel Inc., he said.
Larian unveiled a distribution agreement for MGA’s Moxie Girlz fashion doll with Giochi Preziosi SpA, which CEO Dario Berte said may hold an IPO this fall. Giochi Preziosi will distribute the doll in Italy, France, Greece and Turkey.
According to Reuters, MEGA Brands has filed a Chapter 15 proceeding in a U.S. bankruptcy court in Delaware, clearing the way for a key recapitalization vote next month. The Montreal-based company said on Friday that it had started proceedings in Canada on February 12 to implement a restructuring that would cut its debt by about $290 million and annual interest expenses by about $30 million.
According to the New York Post, Toys “R” Us’ private-equity owners are looking to issue an initial public offering this summer. Bain Capital, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, and Vornado Realty are now interviewing investment banks as potential underwriters. The IPO could be as worth as much as $1 billion. The cash would be used to pay down and refinance Toys “R” Us’ $5 billion debt.