The Düsseldorf company behind the Tonies children's audio system, Boxine, plans to go public. The move is to take place through a merger with a so-called Special Purpose Acquisition Company - SPAC for short - the venture capital company 468, as both companies announced on Monday evening. Boxine is valued on a prof-forma basis with a total of 870 million euros, the equity value is just under one billion euros. Both companies had already announced their plans in June, but talks were still ongoing at the time. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter and the shares will later be listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.

Boxine wants to invest the money from the IPO in growth.

According to the latest information, the company achieved sales of 137 million euros in 2020, which corresponds to an average annual sales growth of 50 percent since 2018.

The pace of growth should remain high.

The basis of the “digital sound system” for children is a 12 by 12 centimeter long cube (“Toniebox”) with loudspeaker and battery and a battery life of up to 7 hours.

The cube does not have a CD slot or a cassette slot, instead it has 8 gigabytes of memory that can hold hundreds of hours of content - from radio plays to music.

In order for the audio files to end up on the hard drive at all, however, “audio figures”, the so-called Tonies, are required. These are five to eight centimeters high hand-painted sculptures that stand on the Toniebox with the help of a magnet. They are revenants of the heroes from children's stories - from the lovable Gruffalo monster to long-running favorites such as the talking elephant Benjamin Blümchen to the robber Hotzenplotz or the Little Witch, the protagonists from Otfried Preussler's classic children's books of the same name, but also many other characters - now according to the Company around 250 in number. Boxine was founded in 2013 and now has around 250 employees.

SPACs - often referred to as blank check companies - are initially just empty company shells. They list their shares as placeholders in order to later be merged with companies and thus to bring them onto the stock exchange. In the United States in particular, business flourished initially in 2020 and this year, but has lessened a little recently. Experts warned louder and louder of a SPAC bubble, and there was also strong criticism of models that were often unfavorably structured for small investors. Experts consider such transactions to be particularly risky in view of the high level of uncertainty for investors.