PROVIDENCE, R.I., Feb. 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Thames & Kosmos officially announced today the completion of a major new investment from its primary partner company, Germany-based KOSMOS INTERNATIONAL GmbH. The deal will boost Thames & Kosmos marketing, product development, and logistical resources, while the 191-year-old publishing house Kosmos becomes the principal shareholder in 12-year-old Thames & Kosmos.
"I am absolutely thrilled to be solidifying our partnership with Kosmos after 12 excellent years of collaboration," said Ted McGuire, President of Thames & Kosmos. "Functioning as a partially owned subsidiary, we can now realize new efficiencies that were previously impossible."
"With this investment, we aim to strengthen T&K's position in the US market as well as grow the entire US market for science kits by continuing to introduce innovative products. Kosmos is entering an important phase in its development by accelerating international expansion and supplementing the physical products with digital components and apps," said Michael Fleissner, CEO and main shareholder of Kosmos. Kosmos also recently acquired a producer of educational software games called USM, a leading app publisher with many educational games, including Redshift™, Catan, and Ingenious.
For 10 years, McGuire has been steadily growing the sales of Thames & Kosmos science kits. "Recently, it became clear to me that in order to grow to the next level, we would need new capital," says McGuire. "It made the most sense for the future of the company to align closer with Kosmos."
Thames & Kosmos also announced the hire of a new executive, CEO Andrew Quartin. Most recently, Quartin was a portfolio manager at Schottenfeld Associates, where he managed a portfolio of media, retail, technology, and diversified consumer products companies. Prior to that, he was a co-founder and president of TUTM entertainment, a successful consumer products venture. Quartin's role at Thames & Kosmos will be to expand distribution, raise awareness of the brand, and further integrate the two companies.
"I am delighted to be a part of this strategic partnership. As a father of two elementary-aged boys, I'm sympathetic to every parent's desire for smart toys that will teach while they entertain. It is not surprising that the educational toy segment is one of the fastest growing categories in the United States," said Quartin. "We have a strong global partner, a highly regarded brand, and a government that is committed to making STEM education a national priority."
"Andy's intuitive marketing skills, understanding of consumers' needs, and financial prowess will be invaluable," said McGuire, who will continue to focus primarily on the company's product development.
Thames & Kosmos will officially launch 20 new science kits at the 110th American International Toy Fair in New York, Booth #1781, starting on Sunday, February 10th. The 2013 lineup includes kits for building a hovercraft, telescopes and microscopes, and solar-powered vehicles; a scientific magic set; chemistry, physics, and biology kits for younger kids; two circuit-building kits; two crystal growing sets; and experiment kits about electrochemistry, rocketry, and solar thermal power. See Thames & Kosmos' web site for new product information.
About Thames & Kosmos
Thames & Kosmos was founded in 2001 by McGuire's mother, Jane Holdsworth. The company produces high quality science kits and has received hundreds of awards and accolades, including seven Gold Awards and 21 Silver Awards from Parents' Choice and four Toy of the Year Nominations. Holdsworth developed the idea while she was the director of a science museum called the Thames Science Center in Newport, RI. The museum ran educational programs, hosted exhibits, and operated a large science toy store. It was from years of selling toys to parents and performing science experiments with kids that Holdsworth and McGuire grew to understand the strong need for engaging science resources. Thames & Kosmos started translating and distributing Kosmos science kits in spring 2001. When Holdsworth became seriously ill and passed away in August 2003, McGuire assumed the role of president and continued executing on his mother's vision.
Kosmos was founded in 1822 in Stuttgart, Germany. At first, the company published mainly fiction books, but as the natural sciences made rapid advances toward the end of the 19th century, its focus changed. Kosmos released its first science kit in 1922, with the goal of explaining the world of science and technology to children and young adults through hands-on experiments. For almost 100 years, Kosmos has produced the world's greatest science kits, including chemistry sets, electronics kits, and physics toys. With more than 60% of the market share for science kits in Germany and a good presence in many more markets, Kosmos is one of the global leaders in this field.
SOURCE Thames & Kosmos