Chi­nese buy­ers eye top stamp dealer

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - BUSINESS - By AB­DUL LATHEEF ab­dul@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Stan­ley Gib­bons, the world’s old­est stamp dealer, is in talks with Chi­nese in­vestors about the po­ten­tial sale of the Bri­tish com­pany, an of­fi­cial said on Mon­day.

The com­pany put it­self up for sale in June af­ter re­ceiv­ing what it called a “pos­si­ble” of­fer from pri­vate eq­uity firm Dis­rup­tive Cap­i­tal Fi­nance, led by stamp en­thu­si­ast Edi Tru­ell.

The two com­pa­nies have been in dis­cus­sion for some time, but no progress has been made so far.

“Stan­ley Gib­bons is cur­rently en­gag­ing with po­ten­tial in­vestors from China as it looks to se­cure fund­ing to take the busi­ness for­ward,” the com­pany of­fi­cial, who re­quested anonymity, said.

China is home to more than 20 mil­lion stamp col­lec­tors, or one-third of the world’s to­tal, up from about 3 mil­lion in 1983. The global stamp col­lect­ing mar­ket is worth about $10 bil­lion a year.

The coun­try has be­come in­creas­ingly im­por­tant for Stan­ley Gib­bons, given the growth in stamp col­lect­ing in the mar­ket, the of­fi­cial added.

Stan­ley Gib­bons re­cently pub­lished the 11th edi­tion of its China Stamp Cat­a­logue, fea­tur­ing all the stamps is­sued by the coun­try in one sin­gle vol­ume, re­flect­ing the im­por­tance of the mar­ket for the dealer.

The com­pany, es­tab­lished in 1856, is the lead­ing stamp dealer in the world. Its cat­a­logs are used to set the mar­ket price for rare stamps.

Three months ago, it sold a strip of four 1948 stamps fea­tur­ing In­dian in­de­pen­dence leader Ma­hatma Gandhi for 500,000 pounds ($655,700) to a pri­vate col­lec­tor in Asia. The com­pany also sells rare coins and other col­lectibles.

But Stan­ley Gib­bons has been fac­ing chal­lenges in re­cent years, lead­ing to staff cuts and man­age­ment over­hauls.

The com­pany be­lieves that new in­vest­ment is needed to im­prove its sales and mar­ket­ing strate­gies to meet grow­ing de­mand in Asia.

Stan­ley Gib­bons is listed on the AIM, a sub­sidiary of the Lon­don Stock Ex­change.

Stan­ley Gib­bons is cur­rently en­gag­ing with po­ten­tial in­vestors from China as it looks to se­cure fund­ing to take the busi­ness for­ward.” Of­fi­cial with Stan­ley Gib­bons

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