Speculation over Hornby merger as new CEO is appointed

Hornby Hobbies

Speculation of a merger of toy train maker Hornby and the holding company for Oxford Diecast has been sparked with the appointment of a new chief executive officer.

The firm, which moved distribution to Hersden in 2014 and office functions to Discovery Park in 2015 ending 60-years of trading in Margate, is now headed by Lyndon Charles Davies.

Mr Davies is the founder and chairman of toy car, train and plane maker Oxford Diecast.

He replaces Steve Cooke, who steps down with immediate effect.

Hornby is said to be considering investment in holding company  LCD, prompting rumours of a takeover or merging of operations.

In an update last month Hornby warned that its full-year performance of trading in the financial year was behind the board’s expectations due to increased competition and weaker demand over the summer.

In a trade update last month the company issued a statement saying: “Whilst the Group still has the important Christmas trading period to come and significant opportunities remain to improve trading performance there is a risk that the shortfall in performance to date may not be recovered fully over the remainder of the financial year.”

The Hornby site in Ramsgate Road was bought last year by Locomotive Storage Limited for a reported £2.25million.

The Hornby Visitor Centre is the only current tenant and they will be remaining on the site after plans to build a new centre in Ramsgate were ditched. The firm is leasing back that part of the site from Locomotive Storage Limited.

The visitor centre café closed in August.