ALEX BRANDS® Names Industry Veteran Neil Friedman President and CEO
Fairfield, NJ, October 29, 2014 – The ALEX BRANDS® family of brands, which includes ALEX TOYS®, POOF®, SLINKY®, SCIENTIFIC EXPLORER®, IDEAL®, ZOOB®, BACKYARD SAFARI®, ZILLIONZ® and CITIBLOCS®, today announced that industry veteran Neil Friedman has been named President and CEO.
Friedman, who joined the ALEX BRANDS® board of directors earlier this year, was most recently President of the U.S. division at Toys “R” Us. He was also previously President at Mattel Brands, Fisher-Price Brands, Tyco Preschool and MCA/Universal Merchandising. Friedman is a member of the Toy Industry Hall of Fame and the International Licensing Industry Merchandiser’s Association’s Hall of Fame.
“Neil Friedman is unparalleled in this industry for his vision, experience and track record of success,” said Michael Cornell, Chairman of ALEX BRANDS®. “With our newly opened worldwide headquarters, expansion into Europe and rapid growth to date, there truly is no one better suited to lead this company into the next phase of its evolution.”
“This is a unique opportunity to work with some of the most iconic and highly recognizable brands in the industry,” says Neil Friedman, President and CEO. “In the time that I have been associated with ALEX BRANDS®, I have been extremely impressed by the company’s accomplishments, vision and growth plans. I am most looking forward to using my experience and expertise to help this company realize the incredible opportunities that lie before it.”
ALEX BRANDS® recently announced the expansion of its operational footprint with the opening of a new worldwide headquarters and customer showroom in Fairfield, NJ; a state-of-the-art distribution center in Woodbridge, NJ, and expanded warehouse capacity in its Canton, MI, distribution center.
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, and Summit Products LLC and CITIBLOCS® in May 2014. Additionally, the ALEX BRANDS® family includes CADACO®, acquired in 2010, and SCIENTIFIC EXPLORER® and FUZZOODLES, acquired in 2011.
About ALEX BRANDS®
The ALEX BRANDS® family includes some of the most highly recognizable and award winning toys in the industry. ALEX TOYS® provides high quality toys, art supplies and craft activity kits that inspire creative expression in children of all ages. POOF® is the world’s leading brand of foam sports balls, many of which are Made in the USA. SLINKY® has been the icon of classic fun and a quintessential childhood toy since 1945. SCIENTIFIC EXPLORER® is the industry leader in children’s educational activity-based science kits. The IDEAL® brand is an emblem of nostalgic fun encompassing a wide variety of games, activity kits, magic sets and classic toys. Award-winning ZOOB® building sets are designed to move after they are put together, allowing for truly interactive creations. BACKYARD SAFARI® is the leader in essential field gear for outdoor role play and exploration. ZILLIONZ® has been helping kids better understand the value of money for almost 20 years. CITIBLOCS® is a line of high-quality, precision cut wood construction blocks. 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.