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Propel Equity Partners Acquires Buzz Bee Toys®

Greenwich, CT, May 13, 2015 – Propel Equity Partners, a private equity firm focused on investing and creating value in leading consumer brands, today announced it has acquired Buzz Bee Toys®.

Buzz Bee Toys®, a diverse line of active play toys, will join the ALEX BRANDS® family of brands, which includes ALEX TOYS®, POOF®, SLINKY®, SCIENTIFIC EXPLORER®, IDEAL®, ZOOB®, BACKYARD SAFARI®, ZILLIONZ®, CITIBLOCS® and SHRINKY DINKS®.

The acquisition marks the eighth by Propel Equity Partners since August 2012 on behalf of the ALEX BRANDS® family of brands.

“This acquisition is yet another step in our strategy of building ALEX BRANDS into a home of best-in-class brands in the toy industry and an indication of our strong belief in the health and vitality of this sector,” says Michael Cornell, Chairman and CEO of Propel Equity Partners.

First introduced in 2002, the Buzz Bee Toys® portfolio of brands includes Air Warriors, Water Warriors and Ruff Stuff and provides an active play experience with an extensive line of high quality, innovative products ranging from dart blasters and water blasters to water toys, flying toys, role play, and junior sports offerings. Buzz Bee Toys® joins a growing collection of indoor and outdoor active and pretend play products at ALEX BRANDS® including POOF® foam balls and BACKYARD SAFARI® adventure series.

“The addition of Buzz Bee Toys® builds on the momentum that ALEX BRANDS has been generating, most recently through our licensing partnership with Nickelodeon and the incorporation of SHRINKY DINKS into our family of brands,” said Neil Friedman, President and CEO, ALEX BRANDS®. “Through this series of acquisitions and announcements, ALEX BRANDS is further enhancing its position as a leading provider of brands that play a central role in helping children to develop their creativity and imagination, as well as keeping them physically active.”

“We are thrilled for Buzz Bee Toys® to join the ALEX BRANDS family through this acquisition, and we see tremendous possibilities for growth by working with the ALEX BRANDS team and alongside the other brands in the group,” said Jeff Zimmerman, CEO of Buzz Bee Toys®.

The collective ALEX BRANDS® toy line, sold worldwide, includes more than 2,000 high quality products spanning the diverse categories of preschool and infant toys, games, magic sets, seasonal toys, role play items, science kits, construction sets, craft & activity kits, bath toys, art supplies and Made in USA products from POOF®, SLINKY® and SHRINKY DINKS®.

ALEX BRANDS® is a portfolio company of Propel Equity Partners, a private equity firm focused on investing and creating value in leading consumer brands. Propel Equity Partners acquired POOF-SLINKY® in July 2012, FUNDEX GAMES® in December 2012, ALEX TOYS® in May 2013, ZOOB® in September 2013, Summit Products LLC and CITIBLOCS® in May 2014, and SHRINKY DINKS® in December 2014. Additionally, the ALEX BRANDS® family includes CADACO®, acquired in 2010, and SCIENTIFIC EXPLORER® and FUZZOODLES, acquired in 2011. ALEX BRANDS® also announced a licensing agreement with Nickelodeon to manufacture, distribute and market a broad array of products based on popular characters, including SpongeBob SquarePants, Dora and Friends and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in February 2015.


The ALEX BRANDS® family of brands is comprised of some of the most iconic, recognizable and award winning toys in the industry today. With a commitment to helping children become more active and develop their imagination and creativity, ALEX BRANDS offers toys and kits for children of all ages. Award-winning ALEX TOYS® offers high quality toys, art supplies and craft activity kits that inspire creative expression. POOF® is the world’s leading brand of foam sports balls, many of which are Made in USA. Iconic SLINKY® has been the quintessential toy of fun and imagination since 1945. SCIENTIFIC EXPLORER® offers a range of challenging and entertaining educational activity-based science kits. The IDEAL® brand is the classic brand of nostalgic fun in a variety of games, activity kits, magic sets and classic toys. Award-winning ZOOB® building sets, which can move after they are put together, allow for truly interactive creations. BACKYARD SAFARI® is the leader in essential field gear for outdoor role play and exploration. ZILLIONZ® has helped children better understand the value of money for almost 20 years. CITIBLOCS® is a line of high-quality, precision cut wood construction blocks. SHRINKY DINKS® is a globally recognized toy brand offering a wide variety of products and play patterns based upon plastic sheets that can be cut, colored and then shrunk and hardened into an endless amount of original designs. BUZZ BEE TOYS® is a diverse line of active play toys that provides high quality, innovative products ranging from dart blasters and water blasters to water toys, flying toys, role play, and junior sports offerings.

For more information about ALEX BRANDS®, please visit www.alexbrands.com.

About Propel Equity Partners

Propel Equity Partners, LLC is a private equity firm focused on investment in branded consumer products businesses. Founded in 2012, Propel Equity Partners provides its portfolio companies with strategic and operational support to enable more efficient operations and accelerated sales growth. The firm believes in building value by partnering with existing management teams and by energizing brands and invigorating new product innovation. For more information visit www.propelequity.com.



Media Queries:
Bill Daddi
Daddi Brand Communications


Industry Queries:
Propel Equity Partners
Robert Farinholt
(203) 930-7711