Toys 'R' Us: We're Not Dying After All

Hedge funds plan to revive brand
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 3, 2018 4:59 AM CDT
In this July 30, 1996 photo, a woman pushes a shopping cart over a graphic of Toys R Us mascot Geoffrey the giraffe at the Toys 'R' Us store in Raritan, NJ.   (AP Photo/Daniel Hulshizer, File)
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(Newser) – They may not be ready to declare "We 'R' Solvent," but Toys 'R' US appears to be back from the brink of oblivion. The company's top creditors have decided to cancel the bankruptcy auction of its famous name and other intellectual property and will attempt to revive the brand instead, reports Reuters. The company filed for bankruptcy in September last year and announced in March that it was "putting a for sale sign on everything" and closing around 800 stores in the US. According to a court filing Monday, the hedge funds now controlling the company decided that the bids for the company's assets were "unlikely to yield a superior alternative" to reviving the Toys 'R' Us and Babies 'R' Us brands.

The plans set out by the hedge fund group calls for "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," the Wall Street Journal reports. Registry lists, website domains, and even mascot Geoffrey the Giraffe would have been sold off if the funds had gone ahead with the bankruptcy auction. The Journal reports that two of the three private equity firms involved, Bain Capital and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, have agreed to set aside $20 million to be distributed to 33,000 former Toys 'R' Us workers still fighting for severance pay. (Geoffrey was offered a new home at the San Diego Zoo.)

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