In December 2020, Magnus and Fiona Smyth (pictured) sold the company to private equity firm, True Global, but three years later, they’ve bought it back.
The couple founded TotsBots in 2000 after spotting a gap in the market for a UK made reusable nappy. They grew it from a kitchen table, work-at-home business to becoming a leading cloth nappy brand, exporting nappies all over the world, and employing 75 staff in the Glasgow factory.
With over 20 years of experience, TotsBots now boasts a high quality, eco-friendly range of nappies made from sustainable materials, including bamboo and recycled plastic waste, and reusable period wear brand, Nora.
In 2020, TotsBots was acquired by True Global, a company which invests in sustainable and purpose-driven businesses. As part of this acquisition, TotsBots joined forces with Frugi Organic Childrenswear, which was already a part of the True Global portfolio, to form a group of companies with shared values and goals. Magnus and Fiona stayed on as consultants to continue to provide the company with their experience and expertise.
Just a few months after the sale, Covid hit the UK and Brexit took hold, and three very difficult years followed, culminating in Frugi going into administration in December 2022. Frugi was purchased by Celtic & Co in a pre-pack deal to save the brand, and Magnus and Fiona began plans to buy TotsBots back from True Global. The deal was completed on 16 March, 2023, returning it safely to the family.
Going forward, the couple’s key focus will be on reversing some of the previous decisions made while under group management, primarily bringing all production back to the UK, focusing on introducing new and innovative products and injecting a bit of ‘cheeky sparkle’ back into the heart of the brand.
Magnus and Fiona commented: “We are delighted that we can bring the TotsBots brand back into our family. Our focus now is to get back to the roots of the brand and we are especially excited to be bringing all our production back home; a decision we really struggled with when we were on the side-lines.
“We are really loving getting back into new product development and have some very exciting things in the 2024 pipeline. We are also looking forward to growing our NORA reusable period wear brand which launch last year. It’s definitely not where we expected to be, but we are very happy to be here as things could have turned out so differently. We are very grateful to have TotsBots back in the family.”