International legal practice Osborne Clarke has advised The Entertainer, the fastest-growing, multi-channel high street toy retailer in the UK, in respect of the proposed acquisition of the Early Learning Centre (ELC) business from Mothercare plc.

ELC operates within 80 Mothercare stores in the UK, 400 stores internationally via franchise partners and online through its website. The acquisition also includes its portfolio of iconic British toy brands such as Happyland.

An Osborne Clarke team led by Corporate Partner Edward Persse advised The Entertainer Group. Edward was supported by Partners Will Robertson, Hugh Jones, Rebecca Gordon and Mat Oliver, in addition to Associates John Jarvis, Ben Richards and Laura Hanley and Senior Associate Natasha Burbidge. The firm acted in December 2018 for The Entertainer on its acquisition of Spanish toy retailer, Poly.

Edward commented: "Notwithstanding the headwinds in the sector, our retail and consumer practice is thriving.  It is a genuine pleasure to share in this next step in The Entertainer's journey and we all wish the merged TEAL and ELC teams every success in the years ahead."

Osborne Clarke’s retail and consumer team is considered a go-to practice for many companies in the sector, advising on everything from eCommerce, payments and brand, through to employee and property issues, fulfilment, franchises and corporate governance and regulation across multiple jurisdictions.

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