Shops now off the market
Disney Stores Europe has been pulled off the market by its parent after failing to reach a deal with potential buyers.

The Walt Disney Company, famous for characters such as Mickey Mouse and Simba from The Lion King, appointed bankers at Goldman Sachs and Bear Stearns to seek buyers for the European and North American chains in 2003. Last October, it agreed to sell the 316-strong North American business to US retailer The Children's Place.

A Disney spokeswoman said: 'The Walt Disney Company will not be proceeding with the sale of The Disney Store in Europe. Following significant analysis, the company has decided that there is a greater strategic interest in retaining the stores and maximising their growth potential. All negotiations with interested parties have stopped.'

European stores boss Chris Davies and Sports World owner Mike Ashley were rumoured to be two of the parties interested in buying the European chain.