Toy billionaire makes offer for Toys ‘R’ Us

Toys-R-UsBillionaire toy boss Isaac Larian has lodged an US$890 million bid to purchase the American assets of collapsing retail chain Toys ‘R’ Us.

Larian, CEO of Bratz Dolls maker MGA Entertainment, had been campaigning for the future of the toy retailer for several weeks and last month launched a $1 billion crowd funding campaign to purchase the business.

The formal bid values Toys ‘R’ Us’ 800+ US stores at US$675 million and its Canadian network at US$215 million.

The bid does not encompass Toys ‘R’ Us other international operations, including its Asian business.

Larian has funded the offer with his own funds, bank financing and a consortium of unnamed investors.

Toys ‘R’ Us Inc. is in the process of closing all its stores in the US and UK after failing to emerge from bankruptcy, with fire sales already underway to clear stock ahead of a formal wind-down.

The company is also looking to offload its international assets and as revealed last week has fielded several bids in excess of US1 billion for its 85 per cent stake in Toys ‘R’ Us Asia.

Larian’s offer, should it be accepted, presents a way out for the business that could secure its operational future, landing it into the hands of a major supplier – a move that would represent a major shake-up to the industry.

In a statement Larian said the ball is now in the court of Toys ‘R’ Us Inc. to accept the offer, at which time the “real work” of turning around the business will begin.

“The time is now. Everyday that goes by, the value of Toys”R”Us declines and more people lose their jobs. I did my part and now it’s up to the other side to accept this offer,” he said in a statement.

Larian took to Twitter over the weekend to detail his plans for a transacted Toys ‘R’ Us, outlining his intention to remain at arm’s length from any possible venture while providing retail advice.

“Operating new TRU will me [sic] at arm length with experienced merchants and operators,” he said.

“I will provide the $ and execution at retail ideas.”

In a slant aimed at MGA competitor Mattel, Larian added that he’s happy to work with all vendors, so long as they bring innovation to the table.

“We love to work with all vendors (including Mattel) if they have innovations and newness. If not, their loss,” he said.

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