Founded in 1973, Tobar is one of the UK’s leading importers of toys, gifts, gadgets and games.
The company acts as a wholesaler to small, medium and large retailers in the UK and via agents and distributors to customers in Continental Europe. The company also sells direct to consumers via the Hawkin’s Bazaar and Stocking Fillers brands.
The Big Idea
Tobar was an entrepreneurial business that had grown steadily throughout its history but would clearly benefit from professionalised systems and a broader management team. Building on its strong market position with both wholesale and retail customers, we saw the opportunity to grow the business through investment in both infrastructure and marketing.
The Grand Plan
After the founder exited the business, we brought in a completely new senior team, helped the company move to a new warehouse facility and relocate its head office to Norwich. At the same time we provided funds for revitalising the wholesale offering and expanded distribution to new European countries. Adding exciting new licensed brands to the company’s existing product range and investing in category management skills allowed the company to win new customers and develop its offering.
The Bottom Line
The company continued to enhance its market position in the UK and is continuing to expand its sales in Continental Europe via new distribution agreements. The business was sold to management in December 2015.
Date of investment: August 2006
Deal status: Realised
Date of realisation: December 2015
Company website: www.tobargroup.co.uk
For more information talk to: Graham Heddle or Oliver Melliss