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Iconic toyseller Hamleys gets French owners

The 250-year-old British toy retailer Hamleys was taken over by French toy distributor Ludendo for a reported €75 million (£60 million, $98 million) on Monday.

Iconic toyseller Hamleys gets French owners
Justin Ennis

Hamleys, whose flagship shop in London's Regent Street is a magnet for tourists and British shoppers alike, was largely owned by the nationalised Icelandic bank Landsbanki.

"With the acquisition of Hamleys, the Ludendo group expanded its reach to Britain, Asia, and other countries in the Middle East, which gives it an international dimension," Ludendo said in a statement.

Hamleys, which has been in operation since 1881, has eight stores in Britain and Ireland.

The British retailer, which posted sales of 43 millions in 2011, also has a presence in the Middle East and India.

Ludendo has 300 stores in Europe, including the La Grande Recre toy shops.

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