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Funtastic acquires Toys ‘R’ Us Australia in recapitalisation play

Funtastic has acquired online retailer Hobby Warehouse – and by extension Toys ‘R’ Us’ Australian operations – and is issuing over 250 million shares to recapitalise the company.

Hobby Warehouse picked up the license to Toys ‘R’ Us last year and relaunched the brand in Australia.

The acquisition brings two of Australia’s leading toy retailers under one roof, and will bolster Funtastic’s B2B operations and “return the group to profitability“.

Louis Mittoni, founder of Hobby Warehouse, is to be appointed CEO and managing director of the combined group.

“This is the next phase of the Toys ‘R’ Us relaunch,” Mittoni said.

“Funtastic will, with the research and support of Tru Kids Inc. and it’s innovative ‘experiential’ store formats in Houston and New Jersey, commence our own physical high experience store attached to our new logistics centre near Melbourne during 2021. Together, we will build a formidable company with strong foundations over the next several years.”

Funtastic chairman Bernie Brookes said the past few years have been challenging, but that the acquisition would allow the brand to accelerate online growth and shareholder value.

“The wider range of baby, toy and hobby products that will be distributed via the Funtastic distribution arm will allow us to develop more innovative digital and sourcing strategies to support both our physical and online retail customers in Australia,” Brookes said.

Brookes said he will be stepping down as chairman of the group, and will be replaced by Kevin Moore – one of the key figures in the reinvigoration of Toys ‘R’ Us’ relaunch in Australia.

The combined group’s pro-forma unaudited revenue for FY20 is to be approximately $53.2 million, according to Funtastic.

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