By Daniel Hunter
HSBC’s Midlands Commercial team has renegotiated its facilities with toy producer Wow! Stuff to help facilitate a Business Growth Fund (BGF) investment in the fast-growing company.
The Business Growth Fund has taken a £4.8 million minority stake in the company, which was the 2010 winner of HSBC’s Business Thinking initiative. Wow! Stuff has been an HSBC customer since 2010 and the relationship is led by Senior International Commercial Manager Adrian L’Enfant.
During HSBC’s relationship with Wow! Stuff, turnover has doubled and the company has ambitious growth plans to expand with new products and markets.
Wow! Stuff is a leading UK toy development company behind blockbuster toys such as Air Swimmers and My Keepon, both of which were named in Hamley’s ‘Top 5 toys for Christmas 2011’ and the Toys R Us ‘USA Fab 15’ list for 2011. The company was founded by Richard North in 2006, together with scientists Kenny McAndrew and Dr. Graeme Taylor. In five years, it has developed sales at retail of more than £30m and a pipeline of innovative toys.
The BGF was formed out of the Business Finance Taskforce set up by the major national banks and has £2.5bn to invest.BGF’s investment and HSBC’s continued support is enabling the company to bring new products to market, develop future innovations and expand into the US, where significant growth opportunities exist. In addition, the company is looking to acquire a Shenzhen team of engineers and an American and UK based team of inventors enabling it to bring sourcing and the supervision of its manufacturing processes in-house.
Roy Harris, HSBC’s Midlands Regional Commercial Director, says: “Wow! Stuff is a forward-thinking, ambitious and successful company, as demonstrated by the HSBC Business Thinking award. We have worked with this company since its early days and have supported it as it has expanded. Therefore, we were delighted to be able to work with the company as they moved towards the Business Growth Fund investment and we look forward to supporting the business as it expands further.”
Wow! Stuff founder and chief executive Richard North adds: “We have an excellent relationship with the team at HSBC; they have a clear understanding of our business and the direction in which we want to go. This is refreshing and inspiring when considered against the challenging economic environment we and most other SME’s find themselves in.”
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