Hornby acquire Lima - 16th December 2004
Hornby Plc ("Hornby"), the model and
collectables group, is pleased to
announce that it has completed the acquisition of certain assets of
Lima S.p.A in liquidation ("Lima") for Euro8 million (Approximately
£5.5 million) fully funded from cash reserves and Bank overdraft
Lima is one of Europe's best known model railway companies. It has a strong profile in Italy, France and Germany, with brands including Lima, Rivarossi, Jouef, Arnold and Pocher. In recent years, Lima has struggled to contain production costs associated with its European manufacturing facility. Despite strong brands and an attractive product range, the company found itself in financial difficulties and was placed into administration in 2003. Hornby has acquired certain assets of the company from the liquidators through the Court of Brescia. The majority of these assets are the trademarks together with the moulds and tooling and associated assets for a substantial number of different model railway product lines.
Hornby is planning to re-locate the manufacturing and assembly of the Lima products to China. Hornby has managed the outsourcing of its own manufacturing and assembly processes to China successfully over recent years. This process has enabled Hornby to concentrate on designing new product lines, improving distribution channels and innovate its marketing programme.
Hornby is currently cataloguing all of the Lima moulds and planning which lines it will re-launch in the second half of 2005. Hornby is
retaining a presence in Italy. A number of the key marketing, sales and administrative staff employed by Lima will remain at the company's base in Brescia in Northern Italy.
Hornby was assisted in this transaction by Studio Pirola, Milan; Lima was assisted by Baker McKenzie, Milan.
Frank Martin, Chief Executive of Hornby:
" We are delighted to complete this acquisition. This is a major step in our strategy to increase our global model railway business. Lima has fantastic potential. The Lima brands have a long history and are extremely well known in European and increasingly in North American markets.
" We have been delighted with the level of support from potential customers who are excited about our plans to re-invigorate the brands.
There is a rich tradition and consumer goodwill associated with the Lima brands which we intend to nurture very carefully. We have planned a detailed integration strategy which will lead to the re-launch of the most popular Lima product ranges in the second half of 2005.
" Distribution of our Scalextric product range in Italy will also be transferred to the Lima organisation. This will provide a bedrock of
sales, pending availability of the Lima product ranges, whilst giving a new impetus to Scalextric sales in Italy.
" We are pleased that we have retained a number of the key Lima personnel, who bring the benefits of their exceptional levels of
expertise and knowledge. We will aim to grow the scale of the team in Italy as our growth strategy gains momentum."
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