Games Workshop designs, manufactures and retails hobby miniatures that exist within its own “Warhammer” universe. Enthusiasts collect, paint and play games with the miniatures. The company is based in Nottingham.
In December 1991, Mark Storey backed the management team led by Tom Kirby in a £10m management buy-out from the founders with a £3m private equity investment. At investment the company had £10m in sales and 100 employees.
The priorities were to professionalise the business and strengthen the management team as well as accelerate the international expansion into Europe and the USA. The fundamental business model that was established at this time has continued to drive growth. The company has focussed on creating its own IP and delivering it to consumers through a vertically integrated structure of in-house manufacturing and company-owned stores and a direct to consumer website. Over 70% of sales are outside the UK.
A successful IPO on the LSE was completed in September 1994 and the original private equity investment was realised over subsequent years – generating over 6x ROC.
Games Workshop continued to grow organically under the leadership of Tom Kirby until 2017 and subsequently Kevin Rountree. It is now the largest hobby miniatures business in the world with sales in 2023 of £445m, EBITDA of £200m and a £3.5 billion market capitalisation. It employs more than 2,650 people.