Partners Group to buy German toy maker Schleich

Partners Group has agreed to acquire German toy maker Schleich from Ardian. No financial terms were disclosed.


Partners Group, the global private markets investment manager, has agreed to acquire a majority equity stake on behalf of its clients in one of Germany’s largest toy manufacturers, Schleich (“Schleich” or the “Company”). Partners Group will purchase the stake from Ardian, a global investment company. The financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

Founded in 1935, Schleich has carved a strong niche in the traditional toy market, with its figurines and playsets characterized by their high quality, attention to detail, and realistic design. At the center of the well-known Schleich brand, the focus lies on sparking children’s creativity and imagination through hands-on play, training their motor skills at the same time. With its strong German roots, headquartered in Schwäbisch Gmünd, Schleich has steadily grown into an internationally-recognized toy brand, with products sold in over 50 countries worldwide and more than 40,000 points of sale online and offline.

Following the transaction, Schleich will continue to be supported by its strong and committed management team, led by CEO Dirk Engehausen. Partners Group will partner with management to lead Schleich into a new phase of international growth, further developing the brand for a global audience and continuing to build partnerships with online and physical retailers worldwide. Partners Group will also continue to support the development of the Company’s online capabilities as well as investing in new product development to further develop its core figurine and playset product offerings.

Dirk Engehausen, CEO, Schleich, says of the transaction: “We are delighted to team with Partners Group, with its global footprint and strong operational capabilities, to lead Schleich in our exciting growth plans. While the Company has firmly established itself as a leading toymaker in the DACH region, we see huge potential to build on our presence internationally and are committed to establishing the Company as a true leader in the global toy market. We look forward to partnering with the Partners Group team to identify new regions and opportunities for long-term growth.”

Kim Nguyen, Partner, Head Private Equity Europe, Partners Group, adds: “With its core mission to promote creativity and imagination in children’s play, Schleich’s unique brand gives it huge potential for growth. Given our global presence, and rich entrepreneurial experience across sectors, we believe Partners Group is the right partner to help Schleich realize this potential.”

About Partners Group
Partners Group is a global private markets investment management firm with EUR 73 billion in investment programs under management in private equity, private real estate, private infrastructure and private debt. The firm manages a broad range of customized portfolios for an international clientele of institutional investors. Partners Group is headquartered in Zug, Switzerland and has offices in Denver, Houston, Toronto, New York, São Paulo, London, Guernsey, Paris, Luxembourg, Milan, Munich, Dubai, Mumbai, Singapore, Manila, Shanghai, Seoul, Tokyo and Sydney. The firm employs over 1,200 people and is listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange (symbol: PGHN) with a major ownership by its partners and employees.

About Ardian
Ardian is a world-leading private investment house with assets of USD 90 billion managed or advised in Europe, the Americas and Asia. The company is majority-owned by its employees. It keeps entrepreneurship at its heart and focuses on delivering excellent investment performance to its global investor base. Through its commitment to shared outcomes for all stakeholders, Ardian’s activities fuel individual, corporate and economic growth around the world. Holding close its core values of excellence, loyalty and entrepreneurship, Ardian maintains a truly global network, with 610 employees working from fifteen offices across Europe (Frankfurt, Jersey, London, Luxembourg, Madrid, Milan, Paris and Zurich), the Americas (New York, San Francisco and Santiago) and Asia (Beijing, Singapore, Tokyo and Seoul). It manages funds on behalf of around 880 clients through five pillars of investment expertise: Funds of Funds, Direct Funds, Infrastructure, Real Estate and Private Debt.

About Schleich
Founded more than 80 years ago by Friedrich Schleich in Schwäbisch Gmünd, the company is one of the largest toy manufacturers in Germany and a leading international provider of original play worlds. The famous figurines from Schleich are sold in more than 50 countries and have conquered children’s bedrooms the world over. The design of Schleich play worlds, the creation of the required tools, and the quality and safety tests, are done in Germany. The production itself takes place at the company’s headquarters in Schwäbisch Gmünd and in a number of production facilities in other countries.