Alleghany Capital-backed Jazwares acquired majority stakes in Kelly Toys Holdings and Kelly Amusement Holdings. The Kelly businesses make plush toys. Jonathan Kelly will serve as co-president of Kellytoy working alongside Laura Zebersky, co-president of Kellytoy and chief commercial officer of Jazwares.
Alleghany Capital Corporation (“Alleghany Capital”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Alleghany Corporation, today announced that its subsidiary, Jazwares, LLC (“Jazwares”), a leading toy and consumer products company, has acquired a majority stake in Kelly Toys Holdings, LLC and Kelly Amusement Holdings, LLC (formerly known as Kellytoy Worldwide, Inc. and Kellytoy (USA), Inc.) (collectively, “Kellytoy”). Headquartered in Los Angeles, California, Kellytoy is an award-winning manufacturer of everyday and seasonal plush toys.
Judd Zebersky, Chief Executive Officer and President of Jazwares, commented, “Kellytoy has established a strong position and a proven expertise in the plush toy market through a range of proprietary brands, including its best-selling Squishmallows® line. In February 2019, we entered into a strategic partnership with Kellytoy to reinvigorate and expand distribution of Jazwares’ Russ BerrieTM brand, which we acquired in 2018. After working successfully together for over one year, we believe it is time to integrate and expand our partnership with Kellytoy, which will allow both companies to more fully leverage their strengths, positioning the combined entity as a leading supplier in the global plush market.”
Jonathan Kelly, Co-President of Kellytoy, stated, “We are thrilled to be joining Jazwares and the Alleghany Capital family of companies. I have known and respected the management team at Jazwares for a long time and believe that after years of building the company, Kellytoy’s logical next stage of growth is through a partnership with a larger, yet very nimble, global platform such as Jazwares. We are confident that our combined talents and the synergies that will result from this transaction will benefit both companies.”
David Van Geyzel, President and Chief Executive Officer of Alleghany Capital, added, “This acquisition is representative of the development of Jazwares into a leading toy industry platform where talented executives and their teams are able to maintain their entrepreneurial mindset and creativity, while leveraging the scale and relationships of a global toy company with the long-term financial backing of Alleghany Capital. We are excited about the opportunities that will emerge from this transaction and are committed to supporting Jazwares’ and Kellytoy’s employees both through this difficult period in world history and in the recovery that will follow.”
Udi Toledano, Chairman of Alleghany Capital, stated, “Alleghany Capital takes a long-term view of the market and, despite recent macro-economic challenges, continues to see compelling opportunities to invest in the global toy industry through Jazwares and its talented management team led by Judd and Laura Zebersky. We believe that the combination of Jazwares’ unique operating capabilities and Alleghany Capital’s financial backing will allow Jazwares to continue to differentiate itself in the marketplace.”
Jonathan Kelly will serve as Co-President of Kellytoy working alongside Laura Zebersky, Co-President of Kellytoy and Chief Commercial Officer of Jazwares.
Ballard Spahr LLP acted as legal counsel to Jazwares. Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP acted as legal counsel to Kellytoy.
About Alleghany Capital Corporation
Alleghany Capital Corporation owns and manages a diverse portfolio of middle market businesses for its parent company, Alleghany Corporation (NYSE:Y). Alleghany Capital’s industrial businesses include: (i) Precision Cutting Technologies, Inc., a holding company focused on the machine tool and consumable cutting tools sectors through Bourn & Koch, Inc., Diamond Technology Innovations, Inc., CID Performance Tooling, and Supermill LLC; (ii) R.C. Tway Company, LLC (dba Kentucky Trailer), a manufacturer of custom trailers and truck bodies for several niche end markets; (iii) WWSC Holdings, LLC, a structural steel fabricator and erector for commercial, industrial, and transportation infrastructure projects; and (iv) Wilbert Funeral Services, Inc., a provider of products and services for the funeral and cemetery industries and precast concrete markets. Alleghany Capital’s non-industrial businesses include: (i) Concord Hospitality Enterprises Company, a hotel management and development company; (ii) IPS-Integrated Project Services, LLC, a provider of design, engineering, procurement, construction management, and validation services for the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries; and (iii) Jazwares, LLC, a global toy, entertainment, and musical instrument company. For additional information about Alleghany Capital Corporation, please visit www.alleghanycc.com.
About Jazwares, LLC
Jazwares, a subsidiary of Alleghany Capital Corporation, is a global leader in consumer products including toys, plush, action figures, collectibles and musical instruments. Jazwares’ portfolio includes a variety of dynamic licensed and wholly owned brands. With over 20 years of design, development, and manufacturing expertise, Jazwares is an award-winning company with a progressive focus on identifying new trends and transforming them into high-quality products for consumers of all ages.
Jazwares, which is headquartered in Sunrise, FL, has offices around the world and sells in over 100 countries. Since its inception in 1997, Jazwares continues to grow through the development of new products and the strategic acquisitions of companies like First Act™, Russ Berrie™, Zag Toys™, and Wicked Cool Toys™. For more information about Jazwares, please visit www.jazwares.com.
Kellytoy manufactures a portfolio of award-winning everyday and seasonal plush products that includes its best-selling Squishmallows®, Kellybaby as well as a pet products line called Wags & Purrs™. Over the past three decades, Kellytoy has positioned itself to meet the needs of its customers in mass market, gift/specialty/toy retailers, party and pet stores, supermarkets, discount stores, drug stores, amusement parks and even crane machines throughout the world. Kellytoy also makes products in collaboration with leading classic characters, including major licenses, as well as blockbuster theatrical franchises. For more information about Kellytoy, please visit www.kellytoy.com.
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This release contains disclosures which are forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements include all statements that do not relate solely to historical or current facts, and can be identified by the use of words such as “may,” “will,” “expect,” “project,” “estimate,” “anticipate,” “plan,” “believe,” “potential,” “should,” “continue” or the negative versions of those words or other comparable words. These forward-looking statements are based upon Alleghany’s current plans or expectations and are subject to a number of uncertainties and risks that could significantly affect current plans, anticipated actions and Alleghany’s future financial condition and results. These statements are not guarantees of future performance, and Alleghany has no specific intention to update these statements. As a consequence, current plans, anticipated actions and future financial condition and results may differ from those expressed in any forward-looking statements made by Alleghany or on Alleghany’s behalf.
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