#53 Transnational Takeover Alert: Lionel – Maerklin

Last year Maerklin, German manufacturer of high quality toy trains slipped into bankruptcy. As the Financial Times Germany reports, former US rival and market leader in the United States, Lionel has shown keen interest in acquiring the ailing German company. While there seemed to be tangible urgency to find a new owner originally, 2009 has been a surprisingly good year that renders smaller Lionel’s (sales 2009 about US$ 80 mio) offer just not good enough. With about EUR 110 mio in sales last year, Maerklin made it back into the profit zone and is flush with cash. It may have become more attractive for other investors which supposedly include Sun Capital. Ironically, Lionel has been through a bankruptcy itself in 2007 when it was snatched up by investment bank Guggenheim Partners.

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