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French firm buys Hamleys for £60m

Hamleys in Regent Street. Credit: PA

Britain's most famous toy shop Hamleys has been sold to a French firm for an estimated £60 million. Hamleys is 250 years old and has eight outlets in the UK and Ireland, including its seven-storey flagship store on London's Regent Street.

The classic British brand was mainly owned by nationalised Icelandic bank Landsbanki, which took over Baugur's stake when the investment group collapsed in the recession.

Bracken, a private equity group run by financier David Rowland, who is one of Britain's richest men and a Tory party donor, owned a minority stake. Its new owner is family-run Groupe Ludendo, which operates 300 toy stores across France, Belgium, Switzerland and Spain.

Hamleys 'could be sold to French firm'

Hamleys flagship Regent Street shop was opened in 1881. Credit: ITN

London's most famous toy shop could be sold to a French firm, it's been reported today.

The Sunday Times says that Groupe Ludendo, which runs toy stores in France, Belgium, Switzerland and Spain, is in talks to buy Hamleys for around £60m.

Hamleys has eight outlets in the UK, including stores at St Pancras Station, Heathrow Airport and Stansted Airport. The flagship Regent Street shop was opened in 1881.