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Norway: Europris invests heavily in online toys

Discount Retail Chain Europris puts half a billion kroner (US$58million) on the table and buys two thirds of Norway's largest online store for toys.

The Norwegian discount chain Europris buys 67 percent of Lekekassen, Norway's largest online store for toys, for NOK 501 million (US$58 Million). The acquisition will be financed with cash. Europris has a pre-emptive right to purchase the remaining shares.

"We are very enthusiastic about the acquisition of Norway's largest online toy store and its strong e-commerce organization", says top manager of Europris, Espen Eldal, in a statement.

Turnover for over half a billion.

The toy box was established in 1945 in Grimstad by the Skalleberg family, and consisted exclusively of physical store sales until 2013, when the online store was launched. Last year, the company had a turnover of NOK 545 million (US$63 Million) and an operating profit before depreciation (ebitda) of NOK 94 million (US$ 11million).

"We have been proud retailers for generations, but we recently started looking for an industrial partner who can support further development and expansion of our family business", says third generation top manager Andreas Skalleberg in Lekekassen in the report.

He remains top manager of the toy company, and will continue to own 33 percent. Eldal becomes chairman of the board.

The toy box has also entered the Swedish market, with the brand, where turnover reached around NOK 100 million (US$11.6 million) last year.

Toys represent a clear growth category for Europris, and Lekekassen's products will contribute to higher growth and a better customer experience in our stores. In addition, we see the possibility of further synergies through joint purchases of goods and services, says Europris CEO Eldal.

Europris is listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange with a market value of NOK 8.6 billion (US$1 billion). The company has seen a sharp rise in the stock market over the past year. Since the stock bottomed out after the corona crash last spring, it has risen over 100 percent. Last year, the share rose around 56 percent.

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