Livingstone 'pulls off' a £42 million buy-out with Tobar transaction

  • mar. 2007

Private Equity firm Primary Capital has invested in multi-channel
toy retailer Tobar Group Ltd in a £42 million transaction
jointly originated with Livingstone.

Tobar is a unique business. Founded in 1973, it sells “things
you thought had gone for ever, things you never even knew
existed”, a collection of hundreds of gifts and gadgets
ranging from the traditional to the obscure.

Tobar owns the Hawkin’s Bazaar retail and mail order
businesses, with 22 shops across the UK and plans to open 15 more
by the end of 2006 and a further 100 over the next 5 years.
Hawkin’s Bazaar also has an active mail-order and website
presence. Primary’s investment will back expansion of all of
these channels over the coming years.

Toby Templer, Managing Director of Tobar, commented
“Primary’s investment will help us transform
Tobar from a wholesale and mail-order led business into a
multi-site, multi-channel retailer with a significant high street
presence.” As a company, we are determined not to lose our
character and sense of fun. We chose to work with Primary because
they understand what makes us unique, and are keen to retain this
as the business continues to develop”.

Primary have taken a 50% stake in the company. Lloyds TSB
Acquisition Finance provided £21.5m of senior facilities to
the transaction. The deal was originated by Livingstone
Guarantee’s Leisure and Retail team working closely with
Primary.

James Lever comments “This is the second deal that we
have originated with Primary in the last 12 months. We are
delighted to have unlocked the opportunity for Primary to invest in
Tobar and to support Toby Templar in his further expansion of the
Group across the UK”.

James Lever, Partner
Tel: 020 7484 4711
Email: jlever@livingstonepartners.co.uk


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