Bridgepoint fund buys Smyk toys stores from Poland’s EM&F: Reuters

Jan 18 (Reuters) — Poland’s Empik Media & Fashion (EM&F) has agreed to sell Smyk, a children’s apparel and toy store chain, to a company owned by London-based private equity group Bridgepoint for 1.06 billion zlotys ($258.25 million) including debt, EM&F said.

EM&F said late Friday it expected the transaction to be finalised by the end of May. Excluding debt, the purchase price was 634.8 million zlotys, it said in a statement.

The first Smyk store opened in Warsaw in 1952. Now the chain counts 125 stores in Poland.

EM&F said there was potential for Smyk’s sales to grow 11-percent a year because Poles spend less money on their children compared with parents in western Europe.

EM&F, which debuted on the Warsaw bourse in 1997, also includes fashion and book stores. The company’s major shareholders are two private equity funds, Eastbridge Group and Penta Investments. ($1 = 4.1045 zlotys) (Reporting by Agnieszka Barteczko; Editing by Mark Potter)