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Hamleys puts itself on the market

Hamleys, the London toy store, has put itself up for sale for the second time this year and is talking to venture capital firms about its future.

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LONDON (Brand Republic) – Hamleys, the London toy store, has put itself up for sale for the second time this year and is talking to venture capital firms about its future.

One of the venture capitalist firms said to be interested is Alchemy, which attempted to buy the remnants of UK car manufacturer Rover earlier this year.

The company, currently estimated to be worth £28m, has been struggling back to health after a disastrous 1999. Profits at Hamleys bombed from £6.4m to £27,000 in 1999, its chief executive was ousted in a boardroom coup and it was forced to sell its Debenhams franchises and Eurotunnel shop.

Former chairman Howard Dyer, who retired in October, talked to venture capitalist firm Charterhouse about a buyout in the summer, but talks fell through over the price. Dyer valued Hamleys at £42m, but Charterhouse refused to up its £36m bid.


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