Success Stories

WOW Toys acquired by SMART Industries (NV) t/a SMART Toys And Games

 

UK toy brand WOW Toys (NAD Developments Limited) has been acquired by SMART TOYS AND GAMES (Smart Industries NV). SMART is headquartered in Belgium with subsidiaries in the UK and USA. Entrepreneurs Hub acted as sell-side advisor to Nadim Ednan-Laperouse OBE, founder of WOW Toys.

Mike O’Connor, Lead Advisor, Entrepreneurs Hub:

We are absolutely delighted to have been able to support Nadim in finding a suitable buyer for WOW Toys. We were all deeply moved by Nadim and his wife Tanya, their story, and their dedication to establishing Natasha’s Law. Their ongoing passion and absolute commitment is now the ongoing work of The Natasha Allergy Research Foundation, which meant this was a project we absolutely had to take on.

The fact that we have helped WOW Toys find a new home, and released Nadim to focus even more on his charitable work is a source of immense pride across the company, but especially for the team directly involved. We are certain that SMART will provide a great home for the WOW brand which will undoubtedly go from strength to strength.

Nadim Ednan-Laperouse, CEO WOW Toys:

Choosing the right advisors to help me with the sale process was key from the outset. Early on I met with a number of potential advisors, both large and small, and found that only one could truly deliver the right outcome and success. Entrepreneurs Hub provided a skilled team with a comprehensive approach, but more importantly, they were empathetic and trustworthy partners. These attributes are vital in the journey to exiting well and selling the business. Interestingly the buyers, an acquisitive business much larger than my own, also commented on the high level of professionalism from Entrepreneurs Hub throughout the process.

Tanya and I are incredibly grateful for their unwavering support throughout this process. Their expert guidance has ensured a successful transaction, allowing me to focus on my philanthropic work while securing the best future for WOW Toys. Entrepreneurs Hub have earned our strongest recommendation for any business owner considering a sale. You don’t get to sell many businesses in your lifetime so when you do, it must be absolutely spot on.

 

SMART TOYS press release:

May 2024, Kontich/London – Leading Belgian puzzles and games company SMART TOYS AND GAMES are delighted to announce the acquisition of WOW Toys company (NAD Developments Limited) and welcome the WOW Toys brand and team to the growing SMART family.

WOW Toys founded in 1996 by Nadim Ednan-Laperouse are known for their high-quality pre-school range of vehicles and figures. The range created with children in mind has no sharp edges, no small parts, no toxic materials, and no batteries. The highly designed range of over 70 vehicles and over 100 figures are fully interactive, and the mechanisms include a flywheel and clutch system that provide easy interactive play with robust toys that can safely handle the most enthusiastic young children. The range continues to be supported by retailers across the world and loved by parents looking for premium quality products that inspire fantasy role play with their children.

Nadim said “I am delighted to be able to announce that WOW Toys, a family business have joined the SMART Group. We share the same goals and values and we both believe in investing in great people to make premium products. I am looking forward to working with the team at SMART to transition the brand as I continue to pioneer my work as the founder of The Natasha Allergy Research Foundation, a charity building the awareness of Natasha’s Law and educating everyone on food allergies with the aim to eradicate food allergy and allergic disease, creating a safer world for all. The talented team at WOW Toys will continue to operate as part of SMART Toys and Games UK and the brand will also enjoy the synergies and sales opportunities that come with the international presence of the SMART brand”.

The acquisition by SMART, known for award-winning brands including SmartGames, IQ®, Happy Cube®, The Genius Square, GeoSmart® and SmartMax® furthers the growth and presence of the Company in the UK after the acquisitions of The Happy Puzzle Company in 2022 and All Jigsaw Puzzles in 2023.

SMART’s global CEO, Rolf Vandoren said; “I have always admired the WOW Toys product range and have known Nadim for a long time. We are delighted to announce the latest high-quality acquisition to the SMART Group, and we are able to continue Nadim’s work of establishing a great vision and delivering amazing product in a growing category for SMART. Our team will carry on the design and development of new ranges for the future, and we want to thank Nadim for his trust in us to look after his brand going forward. Nadim will remain an advisor to the SMART Toys and Games Board for the foreseeable future”.

SMART Toys and Games UK Managing Director, Peter Rooke said “We are looking forward to welcoming the WOW Toys team to SMART UK, all of our acquisitions have relied on the experience and expertise of the existing management in each Company. This acquisition widens both our category presence in pre-school, but also our specialist customer base. We look forward to launching new WOW Toys products in 2025 and thank everyone for their belief in SMART and for their ongoing support for all of our brands”.

All of SMART’s companies offer an impressive range of multi-award-winning puzzles and games, with SMART’s focus on cognitive skill-building products having seen huge global success in the toy market. The SMART UK companies continue to have their founders at the helm which is a strength in terms of the quality of the products they produce all under UK based inspirational leadership teams.

SMART has earned a reputation as a world-leader in single-player puzzle games, such as the IQ® Games range, Penguins on Ice, Cats & Boxes, Squirrels Go Nuts and Quadrillion. They have grown in 2023 with Happy Puzzle’s head-to-head challenges, such as The Genius Square together with other product acquisitions and partnerships the portfolio has grown to include MiMiQ®, Yatzy®, Smartivity®, Foooty® and Rockeees®.

For more coverage on this story please see:

Smart Toys and Games acquires Wow Toys

Smart Toys and Games Acquires WOW Toys Company

The Retail Bulletin

Quote Icon
Tanya and I are incredibly grateful for their unwavering support throughout this process. Their expert guidance has ensured a successful transaction, allowing me to focus on my philanthropic work while securing the best future for WOW Toys. Entrepreneurs Hub have earned our strongest recommendation for any business owner considering a sale. You don’t get to sell many businesses in your lifetime so when you do, it must be absolutely spot on.
Nadim Ednan-Laperouse
CEO - WOW Toys

Related

“For us it came down to trust. It took 25 years to build a very successful business in our sector, but the biggest decision we ever made was the appointment of Entrepreneurs Hub. If we were to do it all again, it would be with Entrepreneurs Hub.”
Gary Rowe
Managing Director
Read Case Study
 “The team at Entrepreneurs Hub have complimented the process fantastically. We have worked with Howard Dingley and Mike O’Connor on a previous transaction and have found their guidance and support invaluable. David Elliott who also assisted throughout the process comes with vast experience in M&A activity and was a welcome addition to the team.”
Chris Dear
Circle Waste
Read Case Study
You build your business with a winning team, so my personal recommendation is to maintain that eminence by adding Entrepreneurs Hub, they act as an extension of your business and deliver the results you need. It’s likely you will only sell your business once, so choose wisely; I whole-heartedly advocate EH as the professional partner of choice for any business looking for an exit strategy.
Matthew Allen
CEO – Bluegfx
Read Case Study
“In addition to helping us understand and navigate the intricacies of the business preparation and sale process, Mike invested time to understand the culture and personality of the business, which has been crucial to the successful transition to new ownership. We’re delighted with the outcome and expect that, under the governance of such a talented new team, Silex and MVQ will go on to achieve even greater things.”
Steve Fearn
Silex Ltd
Read Case Study

We’d love to hear from you

Now you’ve learned a bit more about our services, please get in touch to find out how we can help you achieve your goals.