On April 1, 2018, Spin Master, a leading global children’s entertainment company, purchased GUND, the oldest plush toy brand in the United States, from Enesco LLC, a portfolio company of Balmoral Funds, a private equity firm.
Established in 1898, GUND is one of the leading plush toy manufacturers in the world, recognized by the American Brand Council as one of the most trusted toy brands in the U.S. Universally known and loved for its iconic “Gotta Getta GUND” campaign, the brand connects effortlessly with multiple generations of people who have shared special moments of their lives with this affordable luxury.
According to a recent NPD report, the plush toy category grew 6 per cent worldwide in 2017. With the acquisition of GUND, Spin Master will now have a solid platform from which to expand into the infant toy and specialty gift categories.
The acquisition of GUND marks Spin Master’s 20th acquisition since the company was founded, and the ninth since its initial public offering in 2015. The purchase consideration is US$79.1M, which will be settled utilizing Spin Master’s internally generated cash resources and its credit facility.
Spin Master is a leading global children’s entertainment company that creates, designs, manufactures, licenses and markets a diversified portfolio of innovative toys, games, products and entertainment properties. Spin Master is best known for award-winning brands including Zoomer®, Bakugan®, Erector® by Meccano®, Hatchimals®, Air Hogs® and PAW Patrol®. Since 2000, Spin Master has received 92 TIA Toy of The Year (TOTY) nominations with 28 wins across a variety of product categories, including 13 TOTY nominations for Innovative Toy of the Year, more than any of its competitors. To date, Spin Master has produced six television series, including 2007 success Bakugan Battle Brawlers and current hit PAW Patrol, which is broadcast in over 160 countries and territories globally. Spin Master employs over 1,600 people globally with offices in Canada, United States, Mexico, France, Italy, United Kingdom, Slovakia, Poland, Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Vietnam and Australia.
Enesco LLC is a global leader in the gift, home décor and plush toy industries with a portfolio that includes some of the world’s most recognizable brands and licenses, including Gund®, Jim Shore Heartwood Creek®, Walt Disney Archives™, Disney Showcase®, Disney by Britto™, Department 56® Village, Pusheen™, Designs by Lolita®, and Our Name Is Mud®. Serving more than 40,000 customers worldwide, the company designs, develops and distributes consumer products to a wide variety of specialty card and gift retailers, home décor boutiques, national retail chains and direct-to-consumer retailers. Enesco is owned by Balmoral Funds, a Los Angeles-based private equity firm founded in 2005. Balmoral focuses on partnering with talented and committed management teams to invest in and revitalize companies.
Spin Master was represented in-house by Christopher Harrs, Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary. External representation was provided by its lead outside counsel Torkin Manes LLP with a team led by Jeffrey Cohen and Glen Eddie and including Adrian Myers and Leslie McGowran.
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP acted as US counsel to Spin Master with a corporate team consisting of Jonathan Russo and Bianca Bowen. Additional counsel to Spin Master in China was provided by Jacqueline Zhao and Jin Ling of Lusheng Law Firm (a member of the Rouse network).
William Bettman, Paul Hoffman, Matthew Larvick and Mark Svalina of Vedder Price acted as US counsel to Enesco LLC . Additional counsel to Enesco LLC in China were Yi Chen and Hao Zhang of Morrison Foerster LLP.