Funko, a portfolio company of ACON Investments, has acquired the assets of Underground Toys, a creator, manufacturer and distributor of licensed toy products. ACON acquired Funko from Fundamental Capital in November 2015.
Underground Toys is a supplier of gift items, girls’ and boys’ toys, and adult collectibles under licensed brands that include Star Wars, Doctor Who, Marvel, WWE and DC Comics. The company’s licensed plush and homewares products are sold in 27 territories including Australia, France, Germany and the United Kingdom. Underground Toys was founded in 2001 and has offices in London and Hong Kong (www.underground-toys.com).
Funko designs, imports and markets a portfolio of collectible products under licensing agreements with most of the leading creators and marketers of pop culture today. Funko deploys these licenses across several product platforms including vinyl figures, bobble-heads and plush characters. The company’s products are sold through multiple retail outlets including specialty stores, mass-market retailers, e-commerce, international and direct-to-consumer. Funko was founded in 1998 and is headquartered in Everett, WA (www.funko.com).
Funko and Underground Toys have had a business relationship since January 2014 when the two companies entered into a European distribution agreement for Underground Toys to exclusively distribute Funko products to a network of European retailers, including Toys “R” Us, Tesco, ASDA Stores, Carrefour, and FNAC.
“Over the last two years our relationship with Underground Toys has resulted in an extensive increase in the distribution of our products throughout Europe,” said Brian Mariotti, CEO of Funko. “This transaction will expand upon our already successful relationship and fully unite Funko with the Underground Toys team to support and advance our international growth strategy. We are excited to apply our unparalleled creative design and speed-to-market capabilities to drive continued growth in the business and position ourselves to capitalize on the tremendous opportunities ahead.”
ACON invests from $20 million to $150 million of equity capital in middle-market companies. The firm pursues a theme-based investment strategy by focusing on industries and businesses at key inflection points in their development and pursues these opportunities in partnership with established management teams. The firm was founded in 1996 and has offices in Washington, DC (headquarters); Los Angeles; Mexico City; Sao Paulo; and Bogota (www.aconinvestments.com).
© 2017 Private Equity Professional | January 24, 2017