Tobar Group sold to Merino Private Equity

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Clearwater International has advised the shareholders of toy and gift retailer Tobar Group on their sale to Merino Private Equity.

Tobar Group, headquartered in Norwich, was established in 1973; its retail operation comprises of Hawkin’s Bazaar stores and website, and the seasonal website Stocking Fillers. Hawkin’s Bazaar currently has 30 permanent stores located throughout the UK, and opened an additional 11 temporary stores this Christmas.

The company’s wholesale operation supplies a range of customers from national retailers and supermarkets to independent stores and museums, with high quality and innovative toys and gifts for all ages. Its product range includes Tobar brand products and a range of products that Tobar distributes on behalf of other manufacturers. Tobar distributes its toys worldwide, and has recently established a French office to support sales in Europe.

Merino will be supporting the existing management led by David Mordecai, CEO, and Glyn Loveday, FD, with Mark Colley of Merino joining the board.

Clearwater International, led by partner Gareth Iley with support from debt advisory partner Chris Smith, advised Tobar on the sale.

David Mordecai, CEO at Tobar Group, commented: “We are thrilled to be partnering with Merino for the next stage of growth for Tobar. We have worked hard in recent years to grow the business, and we have high aspirations for the future of the business. This is an exciting time for all of us at Tobar, and we look forward to taking full advantage of the opportunity.”

Mark Colley, Merino Private Equity, said: “We are delighted to announce our acquisition of Tobar. We are excited to be supporting David, Glyn and the rest of the management in achieving their ambition to realise the next stage of growth for the business.”

Gareth Iley, Partner at Clearwater International, added: “We are delighted to have advised Tobar on finding a new owner. Merino will be able to offer the financial support necessary to help the management team implement their clear plans to continue to grow the business. We wish them every success in the future.”