CHAMPAIGN — Champaign-based Hobbico is poised to expand into Europe with the recent acquisition of Revell Deutschland, the German counterpart to Hobbico's U.S. Revell subsidiary.
"We are pleased to reunite the Revell brand under one ownership," said Wayne Hemming, president and chief executive officer of Hobbico, in a release issued Wednesday.
"Now Revell can proceed with a worldwide strategy for growth of the core plastic-model business," he said.
"Most importantly, this acquisition will serve as a foundation to expand the distribution of Hobbico's other brands and products into the European market," Hemming said.
"Together with our recent acquisition of ARRMA-Durango in England, this solidly establishes Hobbico as a global company and positions us for significant new worldwide opportunities," he added.
Revell Deutschland, established in 1956, is the European market leader in plastic models. For the last four years, it has been a key player in radio-control vehicles and other products in the European toy market.
The company sells its products in 8,000 outlets throughout Europe and recently launched a new product line for the European hobby market. The company has sales offices in Germany, France and the United Kingdom.
Revell founder Lou Glaser started the original U.S. company in 1945 and established the German operation 11 years later. In 2006, Revell Deutschland was spun off as a separate company, and in 2007, Hobbico acquired the U.S. Revell operation.
Hobbico employs 600 people in Champaign, Urbana and Elk Grove Village. It also employs 70 at its Reno, Nev., distribution center; 40 at its Estes facility in Penrose, Colo.; 17 at its Axial facility in Irvine, Calif.; and 11 at ARRMA-Durango in Ashby, England.
Revell Deutschland employs 130 and will continue to operate from its headquarters in Bunde, located near Hannover, Germany.
With the addition of Revell Deutschland's 200,000-square-foot facility in Bunde, Hobbico's worldwide operations span more than 1 million square feet.
Hobbico, based at 1608 Interstate Drive, C, makes and markets model hobby products, including radio-controlled models, plastic model kits, rockets and other hobby products.
Its subsidiaries include Great Planes Model Distributors, Estes, Revell-United Model and Tower Hobbies. Since 2005, Hobbico has been employee-owned.