Sector: Business Goods

Status: In Portfolio

Fund: II

Deal type: Management buyout

Investment date: January 2016

International toys and games wholesaler Sambro is the UK’s leading designer, producer and distributor of licensed children’s merchandise.

Based in Bury in Lancashire, with offices in Hong Kong and the Netherlands, it offered significant growth potential at the time of our acquisition thanks to its building reputation and position in Europe.


Sambo quote image

“The Elysian team have shown a deep understanding and have formed a strong and supportive connection to the Sambro management team. Elysian have contributed not just financial investment, but also real operational value and comprehensive guidance to help Sambro grow as a company.”

Paul Blackaby



Sambro investment rationale

Investment rationale

Sambro’s products encompass a wide range of categories including toys, arts and crafts, stationery, and soft toys.

Sambro has a worldwide supply chain and currently serves customers in the UK and across Europe.

In addition to its growing European business, we saw:

  • An impressive growth record with the licensed sector forecast to grow ahead of the overall toy market.
  • A strong management team who founded the company and successfully built it to its current position.
  • Positive relationships with brand owners and retailers.
  • A reputation for innovation and customer service.

Creating value

Since our acquisition, Sambro has grown its business while strengthening its organisational structure and processes.

Under our ownership, Sambro has:

  • Won licenses for new franchises – across its broad category portfolio – for retail across Europe.
  • Expanded the soft category product range and invested in design and buying resources.
  • Established a new, larger office and showroom space in Amsterdam to support sales growth across continental Europe.
  • Upgraded the company IT systems and improved management information.
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