Propel Equity Partners Acquire Leading European Toy Business Juratoys
Juratoys and its subsidiary brands Janod® and Kaloo®to be incorporated into ALEX BRANDS® family
Greenwich, CT, May 28, 2015 – Propel Equity Partners, a private equity firm focused on investing and creating value in leading consumer brands, today announced it has acquired Juratoys.
Based in France, Juratoys is the parent company for two well-known European toy brands, Janod® and Kaloo®. Both brands will join the ALEX BRANDS® family of brands, which includes ALEX TOYS® , POOF®, SLINKY®, SCIENTIFIC EXPLORER®, IDEAL®, ZOOB®, BACKYARD SAFARI®, ZILLIONZ®, CITIBLOCS®, SHRINKY DINKS® and recently acquired BUZZ BEE TOYS®.
The acquisition marks the first major acquisition by Propel Equity Partners on behalf of ALEX BRANDS® in Europe. With offices in France, the United Kingdom, the United States, Hong Kong and China, Juratoys adds to ALEX BRANDS®’ global footprint and offers significant European distribution capabilities for the entire ALEX BRANDS® platform.
“Our focus is on quality brands and businesses with the opportunity for global expansion,” says Michael Cornell, Chairman and CEO of Propel Equity Partners, “and that is why the acquisition of Juratoys is truly a watershed acquisition for ALEX BRANDS®. Janod® and Kaloo® are two of the most respected brands in the toy industry for their attention to quality and design. We are honored to be welcoming them into our family of brands.”
Founded in 1970, Janod® is France’s leading wooden toy brand with a long tradition of designing award-winning learning toys, role play toys and building sets. Janod® is recognized for its innovative yet traditional games and toys with a distinguished contemporary design. Since 1998, Kaloo® has grown into a leader in plush products sold all over the world. Kaloo® uses high-end fabrics and innovative themes to create desirable baby gifts. The Juratoys brands join a rapidly growing collection at ALEX BRANDS® of traditional wooden toys and pretend play products, and the Juratoys management and employees will join an expanding ALEX BRANDS® international organization.
“With the purchase of Juratoys, ALEX BRANDS® expands its consumer reach in both domestic and international markets, while continuing its current growth trajectory,” said Neil Friedman, President and CEO, ALEX BRANDS®. “These brands fit naturally with our company’s current products and vision of focusing in traditional toys. We see numerous opportunities in the European market and this is a big step towards achieving our goal of building a substantial global presence.”
“We are delighted for Juratoys to join the global ALEX BRANDS® organization,” said Pascal Bernard, President of Juratoys. “I’m confident that Juratoys will benefit from the combined resources in Europe and North America and we look forward to growing the overall business together.”
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 in May 2014 and CITIBLOCS® also in May 2014, and SHRINKY DINKS® in December 2014. In 2015, ALEX BRANDS® announced the acquisition of BUZZ BEE TOYS® in May and 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.
About ALEX BRANDS®
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.