- Toy and gift retailer is purchased by Merino Private Equity
- Funding to support the deal is provided by Royal Bank of Scotland Asset Based Lending team
Merino Private Equity has announced its acquisition of the Tobar Group from Primary Capital.
The Tobar Group is a toy and gift retailer and wholesaler, established in 1973 and headquartered in Norwich. Tobar’s retail operation comprises of Hawkin’s Bazaar and the seasonal website, Stocking Fillers. Hawkin’s Bazaar currently has 30 permanent stores located throughout the UK, and opened an additional 11 temporary stores this past Christmas.
Tobar’s wholesale operation supplies own-brand and branded toys and gifts to retailers, supermarkets, independent stores and museums across the world. It has recently established an office in France to support sales in Europe.
An asset based lending facility (ABL) provided by Royal Bank has helped to fund the private equity backed acquisition. The facility works by accessing cash held within the firm’s debtor book and inventory assets. This gives Merino access to working capital which helps support this transaction. It will also support future growth plans with the expansion of new product lines and exporting activity.
Merino Private Equity will be supporting the existing management team led by David Mordecai, CEO, and Glyn Loveday, FD, with Mark Colley of Merino joining the board.
Clearwater International advised the shareholders of the Tobar Group on the sale. The team was led by Gareth Iley, supported by associate director Alper Dervish and associate James Clifford.
David Mordecai Chief Executive at Tobar Group:
"We are thrilled to be partnering with Merino Private Equity. We have worked hard in recent years to grow the business, and we have high aspirations for the future. This is an exciting time for all of us at Tobar, and we look forward to taking full advantage of the opportunity."
Mark Colley, Merino Private Equity:
"We are delighted to announce our acquisition of Tobar. We are excited to be supporting David, Glyn and the rest of the management team in achieving their ambition to realise Tobar's next stage of growth f. The funding support from the ABL team at RBS has played a key part in the transaction and we have been impressed with the team’s support."
Oliver Sutton, Business Development Director, ABL at Royal Bank of Scotland:
"Merino recognised the strength of the Tobar Group as a leading UK-based retailer and wholesaler of toys. We are delighted to help them with this acquisition. Moving forward the management team is focused on growth and the expansion of new product lines. The ABL facility will also work well to support this strategy because it is linked to assets, which means funding can be increased as the business grows."
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