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Aureos Invests in Mexican Toy Distributor

6 September 2011

(Aureos Capital) September 6, 2011 – The Aureos Latin America Fund (ALAF)* has completed the acquisition of a majority position in Handell S.A.P.I. de C.V., a Mexican company specialized in importing and distributing some of the world’s leading toy brands in Mexico.Handell has been in the Mexican market for seven years and has a world-class management team with proven experience in supplying department stores and retailers.  It has been Mexico’s exclusive representative and distributor for several leading international toy manufacturers, including Jakks Pacific, MGA, Moose, Giochi Preziosi, Playmates, Nikko, and Meccano, whose licensed products include toys for Disney, Hello Kitty, Bratz, Little Tikes, Sponge Bob, Smurfs, World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), and Fast and the Furious.

Historically, the Mexican toy market has been driven by middle class appetite for fashionable toy lines.  However, demographic changes are now creating an opportunity to respond to lower-income families’ increasing disposable incomes.

The proceeds of the capital injection will be used to expand Handell’s operations and diversify its toy portfolio.  In particular, the company plans to develop new, affordable, but high quality toy lines for lower-income families.

Erik Peterson, ALAF’s Regional Manager Partner, commented: “The investment in Handell offers an opportunity to develop a company in the distribution and logistics space that provides the market with sustainable products that comply with high quality and environmental standards.”

“In particular, the plan to create new, more affordable product lines appeals to the Aureos philosophy of servicing new market niches.”

Aureos will work closely with the company to develop and implement sophisticated information and management systems to help administer high volumes and manage seasonal peaks in demand.  The Mexican toy market enjoys two seasonal peaks: around Christmas and the Dia del Niño on 30th April.

Aureos will also support the Company in developing strategic metrics to measure its performance and ensure that it is fulfilling its full potential as it grows towards a market-leading position.

Jaime Ortíz Tirado, CEO of Handell, said: “We are very excited to have in Aureos a new partner that will help us to take advantage of the exciting opportunities that are opening up in the Mexican toy market.  In particular there is growing gap in the market for decent quality toys at an accessible price for families that previously would not have been able to afford them.”

The investment will be directly supervised by the Aureos’ Mexican office led by managing partner Miguel Angel Olea and partner Felipe Ortiz-Monasterio, both of whom will sit on the Company’s Board of Directors.

* ALAF refers to the Aureos Latin America Fund I LP together with Fondo Aureos Colombia, Fondo de Capital Privado.

Aureos Capital is a private equity fund management company which specialises in providing expansion and buy-out capital to small and medium sized businesses across Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Since its establishment in 2001, Aureos has increased its funds under management to US$ 1.3 billion and extended its geographical footprint to over 50 emerging markets covering Asia, Africa and Latin America, by establishing 17 regional private equity funds.

Aureos’ funds are managed through its network of 28 offices worldwide, by a team of over 90 investment professionals who combine world-class financial and operational expertise with unrivalled local knowledge and experience.

Investors in Aureos funds include institutional investors, bilateral and multilateral development finance institutions, pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, fund of funds, family offices and foundations and high net worth individuals.