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Alleghany Capital Corporation Announces Jazwares' Acquisition Of Russ Berrie And Applause Brands


NEW YORK, May 29, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Alleghany Capital Corporation ("Alleghany Capital"), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Alleghany Corporation, today announced that its subsidiary, Jazwares, LLC ("Jazwares"), a global toy, entertainment, and musical instrument company, has acquired the Russ Berrie™ and Applause™ brands.  The Russ Berrie™ brand originated in 1963 and has historically included a variety of gift items, such as stuffed animals, mugs, picture frames, figurines, greeting cards, and stationery.  The Applause™ brand has included stuffed toys and collectible figurines since 1966. These well-known brands were acquired from Larsen & Bowman Holdings Ltd. and Maple Licensing Ltd. through Jazwares' affiliate, Zag Toys, LLC ("Zag Toys"), a leader in the collectibles industry.

Judd Zebersky, Chief Executive Officer and President of both Jazwares and Zag Toys, commented, "Russ Berrie™ and Applause™ are leading brands in their respective markets and we are thrilled to add them to the Jazwares and Zag Toys portfolio.  We look forward to leveraging the great history of these brands and growing their business through the introduction of new products and the entrance into new territories worldwide."

"We are excited to have Jazwares and Zag Toys expand on the legacy of Russ Berrie™ and Applause™ while adding their unique perspective, product development expertise, and global reach to break new ground with these two beloved brands," stated Stacy Larsen, President of Larsen & Bowman Holdings Ltd.

David Van Geyzel, President and Chief Executive Officer of Alleghany Capital, added, "The purchase of Russ Berrie™ and Applause™ follows Jazwares' acquisition of Zag Toys in February of this year and is a great example of the unique opportunities arising from the Zag Toys transaction.  We believe that Jazwares, through Zag Toys, will provide a solid long-term home for these well-known brands and are enthusiastic about their growth potential as part of the Jazwares platform."

About Alleghany Capital Corporation

Alleghany Capital Corporation sources, executes, and oversees certain investments and acquisitions for its parent company, Alleghany Corporation (NYSE: Y).  Alleghany Capital's industrial investments include: (i) Bourn & Koch, Inc., a manufacturer of precision machine tools and related parts, as well as a producer of consumable components for the waterjet cutting and surface preparation markets; (ii) R.C. Tway Company, LLC (dba Kentucky Trailer), a manufacturer of custom trailers and truck bodies for the moving and storage industry and other markets; (iii) W&W|AFCO Steel, a fabricator and erector of structural steel for commercial, manufacturing, and transportation infrastructure projects; and (iv) Wilbert Funeral Services, a provider of products and services for the funeral and cemetery industries and precast concrete markets.  Alleghany Capital's non-industrial investments include: (i) IPS-Integrated Project Services, LLC, a technical service provider focused on the global pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries; and (ii) Jazwares, LLC, a global toy, entertainment, and musical instrument company.  For additional information about Alleghany Capital Corporation, please visit

About Jazwares, LLC

Jazwares is a global leader in consumer products, including toys, musical instruments and kid-friendly consumer electronics.  With over 20 years of design, development, and manufacturing expertise, Jazwares is an award-winning company with a progressive focus on identifying new trends and transforming them into high value product for kids of all ages.  Jazwares is headquartered in Sunrise, FL, and its products can be found on five continents and in over 85 countries.  Jazwares' portfolio includes properties such as Animal Jam™, Feisty Pets™, First Act™, Hotel Transylvania™, Minecraft™, Molang™, Nerf ™, Peppa Pig™, Roblox™ and many more.  Jazwares' goal is to invent toys and related products that are new to the marketplace, featuring the brands kids want.  Zag Toys was recently added to Jazwares' family of companies and is a leading consumer product and licensing company specializing in the design, sourcing, and distribution of innovative collectibles based on trending pop-culture and gaming brands. For more information about Jazwares and Zag Toys, please visit their websites at and

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