Canadian toy company Spin Master has purchased GUND, based in Edison, New Jersey. “We are thrilled to welcome GUND former owner and industry veteran Bruce Raiffe into the Spin Master family as our values closely align,” says Anton Rabie, Spin Master co-chief executive officer and cofounder, in a company press release. “We are focused on preserving GUND’s excellent reputation rooted in quality product and cherished memories that last a lifetime.”
Established in 1898, GUND is a leading plush toy manufacturer; recognized by the American Brand Council as one of the most trusted toy brands in the U.S. Jacob Swedlin, Raiffe’s grandfather, purchased the company from founder Adolph Gund in 1925.
Spin Master, a global children’s entertainment company, creates, designs, manufactures, licenses and markets a diversified portfolio of innovative toys, games, products and entertainment properties. Among its award-winning brands are Erector by Meccano, Hatchimals, Air Hogs and PAW Patrol. Since 2000, Spin Master has received 92 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.
The acquisition of GUND from Enesco LLC, a portfolio company of private equity firm Balmoral Funds, marks Spin Master’s 20th acquisition since the company was founded in 1994, 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, says the release. The acquisition is expected to close on April 1.
“GUND introduces Spin Master into the gift business as plush offers a tried-and-true play value for kids to enjoy with their parents during everyday moments,” notes Spin Master Global President and COO Ben Gadbois.
According to a recent NPD report, the plush toy category grew 6 percent worldwide in 2017.
Spin Master employs more than 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.