Chinese shoe retailer C.banner buys iconic British toyshop Hamleys for £100 million
Hong Kong-listed women's footwear retailer C.banner International Holdings will buy 255-year-old British toyshop Hamleys for around £100 million, a source with direct knowledge of the deal said on Thursday.
The deal for the iconic British retailer, known as the oldest toy shop in the world, comes a day after China's President Xi Jinping hailed close ties with Britain at the start of a pomp-laden visit that should seal more than US$46 billion of deals.
Some of London's most famous shops have been snapped up by non-British investors. Qatar Holdings owns Harrods; Hong Kong-based Dickson Concepts owns Harvey Nichols; House of Fraser, a nationwide department store chain, is owned by China's Sanpower Group; and Royal tailor Gieves & Hawkes is part of Hong Kong-listed Trinity.
C.banner will announce the deal shortly, the source said.
A spokesman for C.banner declined to comment.
Founded in 1760, Hamleys is best known for its landmark shop on London's Regent Street.
The British toyshop, where Queen Elizabeth bought toys for her children, has been in foreign ownership since 2003 when it was acquired by Icelandic investment firm Baugur after a bidding war with a British-based buyer.
C.banner describes itself as the second largest retailer of middle-to-high-end women's formal and leisure footwear in China.