Dawn Trading acquired by Hobbies Australia



Our Client – The Vendor

Dawn Trading was one of Australia’s leading importers and distributors of hobby products, supplying: radio control models, plastic model construction kits, model wood ships and model rocketry plus a complete range of building and craft accessories. Run as a family business, it had commenced in 1966 with investments in the slot-car boom and then progressed to become a leading importer of general hobbies, supplying a broad spectrum of Australian retailers from national chains to niche hobby and toy shops. The Business dealt with 50+ suppliers, 30 of which were under exclusive distribution arrangements. These included manufactures across 20 countries, including  USA, China, Japan, Europe, Spain, Britain, Italy, Korea and Taiwan.

Unfortunately, after many years running as a successful and profitable business, the advent of online gaming and shopping drove demand for hobby goods into decline. The Business’s fixed overheads became excessive relative to its revenues. Yet despite turnover and net profitability decreasing, gross margins continued to remain healthy. At the time of sale, Dawn Trading’s owner sought to retire and engaged Johnsons Corporate as specialist mid-market business brokers to assist with selling the Business.

The Business Sales Strategy

For a strategic acquirer, with an existing fixed cost infrastructure, this represented an attractive opportunity for a “bolt-on” acquisition. By overlaying Dawn Trading’s healthy gross margins on top of existing fixed costs, an acquirer would see a large portion of the gross profit drop straight to its bottom line earnings. Other benefits included access to new customers and experienced staff as well as exclusive supply arrangements for the Australian market.

Johnsons Corporate’s custom research & marketing focused on Distributors of Toy & Hobby Products, with secondary markets including wholesalers of educational toys and games, craft paints and glues, scrap booking supplies, and figurines & collectables. Johnsons ran a proactive direct marketing campaign that uncovered 14 qualified, interested parties. Although finding the right party was not straight-forward, further vetting and negotiations resulted in Offer and Acceptance being secured 28 weeks after going to market.

(Read more about how using a Specialised Mid-Market Business Broker Approach to selling your business could get you a better outcome – just like our client).

The Related Trade Buyer

Established in 2004, Hobbies Australia is a hobby product importer and distributor supporting the Australian and New Zealand markets. With an experienced team of full time staff, it is one of the largest hobby distributors in Australia and supplies close to 300 retailers, including hobby stores, toy stores, electronics stores, gift stores and more.

What Our Client Had to Say

"We were introduced to Johnsons Corporate by our accountants. After concluding a strategic review of our operations, Johnsons were upfront in advising us that there would be challenges in selling the Business as a stand-along entity. They recommended that the best result would come from positioning it as a 'bolt-on' opportunity to a related industry player. As it turned out [the fit with] the purchaser could not have been better and Johnsons assisted us to negotiate a deal so that both parties achieved a great outcome. We are more than happy to recommend the professional services of Johnsons Corporate to other Family Groups who might be considering a sale."

Peter Melvey, Director - Dawn Trading