Published: November 20, 2018

Real Deal

Compiled by: Jennifer Lynch

PlayMonster Readies for Accelerated Growth Through New Deal with Audax

PlayMonster has aligned with Audax Private Equity as the company gears up for additional growth. Since inception, Audax has sought to transform market leaders into larger, better-positioned and more valuable enterprises. With the infusion of capital and resources, PlayMonster is empowered to opportunistically grow its platform through continued organic growth and synergistic acquisitions.

PlayMonster is now one of the fastest growing toy companies in the industry, propelled by a combination of organic and acquired growth. Led by a management team of industry veterans, its portfolio of entertainment products for all ages enjoys substantial retailer reach. PlayMonster’s portfolio includes its core games business and, more recently, its expansion into key toy categories including activities, infant/preschool toys, educational toys, and vehicles and outdoor toys, which are marketed under global brands such as 5 Second Rule, Yeti in My Spaghetti, Chrono Bomb, My Fairy Garden, Fab Lab, Fuzzikins, Mirari, Kid O Toys, MOLUK/Bilibo, Automoblox and Super Spinner. These brands have propelled PlayMonster to become one of the top 5 most award winning companies in the toy industry with 10 Toy of the Year Awards nominations.

“PlayMonster has earned an outstanding reputation in the toy and games market by delivering innovative brands to the mass, e-commerce, and specialty retailer segments. We look forward to working with Bob Wann and the PlayMonster team to continue building a leading platform through organic growth and add-on acquisitions,” says Geoffrey S. Rehnert, co-chief executive officer of Audax.

Bob Wann, Chief PlayMonster adds, “We have ambitious plans for PlayMonster, and are continuing on our path to be one of the top and most innovative companies in the toy industry. With the additional leadership and resources available through Audax, we feel we are well positioned to do so by delivering a robust PlayMonster portfolio of games and toys that inspire play for all ages.”

Irish Fairy Doors 3The Irish Fairy Door Company Hires WildBrain to Produce Original Content

WildBrain will produce original content based on the The Irish Fairy Door Company, and manage the brand’s YouTube and Facebook strategy for the brand. The Irish Fairy Door Company is a direct-to-consumer brand, based in Ireland, which celebrates the magic of children’s belief in fairies through toys, imaginative play, storytelling and online activities. The miniature fairy doors are the flagship product of the brand and found in nearly one million households worldwide.

Under the agreement, WildBrain will manage The Irish Fairy Door Company’s YouTube channel on its network, and produce short-form content, including an original animation series and live-action videos that bring the fairy world to life. WildBrain’s social media team will also assume management of The Irish Fairy Door Company’s Facebook page and advertising campaigns, to engage with parents and extend the brand’s audience to new viewers and consumers worldwide. In addition, WildBrain’s parent company, DHX Media, is working with The Irish Fairy Door Company to develop additional strategies to grow the brand on other platforms, including potential long-form content.

GameStop Sells Spring Mobile Business to Prime Communications

GameStop entered into a definitive agreement to sell its Spring Mobile business, which owns and operates 1,289 AT&T wireless stores, to Prime Communications, L.P. for $700 million, excluding transaction fees and subject to customary working capital and indebtedness adjustments. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2018, subject to customary regulatory approvals and closing conditions.

As previously announced, GameStop’s board of directors, together with outside financial advisors, is undertaking a comprehensive review of a wide range of strategic and financial alternatives to enhance shareholder value. In connection with its review, GameStop’s board determined that the sale of Spring Mobile is in the best interest of the company and its shareholders, as the transaction generates immediate cash proceeds and enables the company to increase its focus on serving its customers’ entertainment needs across video games and collectibles.

Proceeds from the sale may be used to reduce the company’s outstanding debt, fund share repurchases, reinvest in core video game and collectibles businesses to drive growth, or some combination of these options.

Perella Weinberg Partners LP is acting as financial advisor and Pepper Hamilton LLP is acting as legal counsel to GameStop in relation to the sale of Spring Mobile. J.P. Morgan Securities LLC and SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, Inc. are acting as financial advisors and Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP is acting as legal counsel to Prime Communications.

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