Following a six-month search for a buyer, Ardian will sell German toymaker Schleich to Partners Group.

Following the close of the sale, Partners Group will become the third private equity firm to hold a majority stake in the company since 2014. Ardian, which purchased Schleich from HgCapital Group in 2014, put the company up for sale in January following several years of growth.

Since 1935, Schleich has offered traditional toys, such as highly-detailed figurines and play sets. Based in Schwäbisch Gmünd, Schleich toys are sold in more than 50 countries globally.

CEO Dirk Engehausen will remain in place with current management. Partners Group says it plans to work with management “to lead Schleich into a new phase of international growth, further developing the brand for a global audience and continuing to build partnerships with online and physical retailers worldwide… and continue to support the development of the company’s online capabilities as well as investing in new product development to further develop its core figurine and play set product offerings.”

Schleich recently appointed new executives to lead its U.S. operations, which includes the expansion of the brand’s retail footprint through experiential pop-up shops in select toy stores. In the months ahead, the company will debut line extensions for many of its popular brands, including Horse Club, Eldrador, and more.

About the author

James Zahn

James Zahn

James Zahn, AKA The Rock Father, is Editor-in-Chief of The Toy Book, a Senior Editor at The Toy Insider and The Pop Insider, and Editor of The Toy Report, The Toy Book‘s weekly industry newsletter. As a pop culture and toy industry expert, Zahn has appeared as a panelist and guest at events including Comic-Con International: San Diego (SDCC) Wizard World Chicago, and the ASTRA Marketplace & Academy. Zahn has more than 30 years of experience in the entertainment, retail, and publishing industries, and is frequently called upon to offer expert commentary for publications such as Forbes, Marketwatch, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, USA Today, Reuters, the Washington Post, and more. James has appeared on History Channel’s Modern Marvels, was interviewed by Larry King and Anderson Cooper, and has been seen on Yahoo! Finance, CNN, CNBC, FOX Business, NBC, ABC, CBS, WGN, The CW, and more. Zahn joined the Adventure Media & Events family in 2016, initially serving as a member of the Parent Advisory Board after penning articles for the Netflix Stream Team, Fandango Family, PBS KIDS, Sprout Parents (now Universal Kids), PopSugar, and Chicago Parent. He eventually joined the company full time as a Senior Editor and moved up the ranks to Deputy Editor and Editor-in-Chief.