News

Green Toys Completes Majority Recapitalization with The Friend Group

04 December 2013

Meridian Capital LLC, a founding member of Global M&A Partners, is pleased to announce the successful recapitalization of Green Toys Inc. by Chicago-based Friend Group LLC. The transaction was finalized in August of this year with Meridian serving as Green Toys’ exclusive financial and strategic advisor.

Co-founded by Robert von Goeben and Laurie Hyman in 2007, Green Toys is a manufacturer of eco-friendly and socially responsible children’s products. Headquartered in Mill Valley, California, the Company has developed a portfolio of award-winning toys made 100% in the USA and distributed to more than 50 countries. Green Toys is known as a pioneer in the use of post-consumer recycled materials and an innovator of 21st century eco-friendly supply-chain management, sourcing raw materials locally and monitoring each step of the manufacturing process for safety and quality.

After achieving multiple years of 25%+ revenue growth, the Green Toys shareholders engaged Meridian to facilitate a transaction process aimed at providing incremental financial and operational resources. Of particular importance was identifying a partner with strong cultural alignment and the ability to immediately offer incremental management resources.

With an entrepreneurial background and significant branded consumer products experience, the Friend Group is uniquely positioned to assist the Company in achieving its next phase of growth. A strategic investor and active partner, the Friend Group investment will allow Green Toys to further develop distribution capabilities and expand product lines. The Company’s shareholders and management team will continue to play an active role in the business.

“Global demand for Green Toys products is growing at an extraordinary rate, and our US-made products are now sold in over 90 countries,” said von Goeben. “It became important for Green Toys to find both the financial resources and management talent to meet this demand. The Friend Group brings a unique combination of been-there experience, entrepreneurial spirit and vast knowledge of made-in-America manufacturing.”

Howard Friend will be joining the Company as CEO. Von Goeben will be maintaining his duties as president and chief creative officer, and Hyman will continue as the Company’s vice president of marketing.

About Friend Group LLC

The Friend Group is a unique investment firm comprised of a team of industry professionals that make private equity investments in small to medium sized companies in the consumer packaged goods industry (CPG).The firm seeks sub-$20M consumer products businesses with strong brand positions and significant organic growth opportunities.. The Friend Group looks to provide resources and a professional, hands-on management team with deep cross functional experience to help drive future growth and development.