Toys R Us Might Not Be Dead After All

Geoffrey the Giraffe may be getting a new lease on life.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Toys “R” Us Inc. has canceled its bankruptcy auction and will instead look to “revive the business behind the Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us brand names.” The proposed reorganization plan will examine “a new, operating Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us branding company that maintains existing global license agreements and can invest in and create new, domestic, retail operating businesses under the brand name.”

The report also notes that Toys “R” Us’ controlling lenders determined that any “qualified bids” for the company’s bankruptcy auction most likely would not “yield a superior alternative to the plan.” If the auction had gone through, the Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us brand names, registry lists, website domains, Geoffrey the Giraffe, and other items would have all been up for sale.

The decision to close Toys “R” Us was made in 2017, resulting in the closure of over “800 stores” and an “$11 billion hole in the toy industry” that left “33,000 people without jobs.” Many of the company’s workers began fighting for severance pay following the news of the closure, prompting Toys “R” Us’ private equity backers Bain Capital and KKR & Co. to create a $20 million fund to distribute to former employees.

The last Toys “R” Us store in the United States was closed on June 29, 2018, though the Canadian branch was unaffected.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

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Nick Steinberg (@Nick_Steinberg)

Nick Steinberg (@Nick_Steinberg)