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Hornby considering investment in owner of rival toymaker as it appoints new top boss

PUBLISHED: 16:05 03 October 2017

Hornby products

Hornby products

Archant

The toy business has its headquarters at the Discovery Park in Sandwich

Hornby has recruited a new top boss and is mulling an investment in the owner of rival toymaker Oxford.

The Scalextric-to-Airfix business, which has its headquarters at the Discovery Park in Sandwich, after moving out of its long-time home in Margate, said Lyndon Davies would join as group chief executive, with current CEO Steve Cooke stepping down immediately.

It is also exploring whether to invest in LCD Enterprises Limited, the parent owner of Oxford, where Mr Davies is the majority shareholder.

The 56-year-old, who is also Oxford’s chairman, will be tasked with driving through the remaining stages of an overhaul that has helped shore up Hornby’s balance sheet.

Shares were up more than four per cent in early afternoon trading on the London Stock Exchange.

Interim chairman David Adams said he was delighted to welcome Mr Davies onto the board.

He said: “His obvious expertise in and enthusiasm for the toy and hobby industry will provide the group with experienced leadership for the next stage of our development.

“Hornby will continue with its turnaround plan and Lyndon is ideally qualified to steer the group through this period.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank Steve for his service to Hornby and for his leadership of the first stage of the turnaround plan.”

As part of the shake-up, Mr Davies will bring in Tim Mulhall and Simon Kohler as operational consultants in a bid to boost Hornby’s financial fortunes.

It comes after Phoenix Asset Management upped its stake to about 72 per cent in Hornby earlier this year.

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