C.Banner is said to be considering the sale of Hamley’s a week after it posted a 2016 fall from £1.7m profit to £9.2m loss in 2017.
Rumours began after C.Banner received approaches from potential buyers and appointed corporate finance firm Vermillion Partners to advise on a sale according to Sky News. C.Banner originally acquired Hamley’s for around £100m in 2015. It is thought that a sale would not go ahead before the toy seller’s crucial Christmas period, and a sale is not certain.
C.Banner originally planned to use its acquisition of Hamley’s as part of an international branding strategy, with its purchase timed to coincide with the Chinese president Xi Jinping’s visit to London. Earlier this year the Chinese group agreed to buy a majority stake in House of Fraser, however it pulled out of the deal, announcing a profit warning.
A potential sale would represent the fourth time that Hamley’s has been sold, with the toy retailer currently operating in 129 locations worldwide with most of them franchises. Poor results in the 2017 financial year lead to the company replacing its head of finance last week after the company reported a £1.7m 2016 profit fall to a £9.2m loss.
Retail Sector has contacted C.Banner and Hamley’s for comment.