Toy Mogul Bids for Toys R Us Stores

Isaac Larian the toy mogul from California submitted a bid on Friday of $675 million to purchase 274 U.S. based Toys R Us stores and another bid of $215 million to buy 82 stores located in Canada.

The bid arrived just over three weeks after the toy mogul launched a GoFundMe $1 billion campaign to save hundreds of stores that are operated by the bankrupt retailer in the United States and Puerto Rico.

However, money for the bid on Friday will be Larian’s own money, from other investors and some bank financing and not that of the GoFundMe campaign, said a press release from MGA Entertainment Inc., the maker of toys that Larian owns.

As of late Friday afternoon, Larian’s crowdfunding campaign that started on March 21 was up to only $59,500 from over 1,970 people on top of $100 million personally pledged by Larian and $100 million more from other large investors who were not disclosed. A spokesperson for Larian told the media the toy mogul is not planning to use any funds from small GoFundMe donors.

The offer made by Larian for stores will need to be evaluated by the bankruptcy court that administers an auction of the assets of the company and considers bids for buyouts. Toys R Us is having liquidation sales throughout the U.S.

Larian in a prepared statement said that every day that passes the value of Toys R Us drops and more people are out of work. He added that his part was done and now it was up to the other to accept the offer he made and if they do, real work will start.

MGA Entertainment, which is privately held by Larian, features the Little Tikes vehicles, Bratz dolls and other children’s toys. Toys R Us is an important sales channel for the toy maker.

Larian said he believes close to 130,000 jobs in the U.S. could be lost, not only those at Toys R Us, but suppliers, distributors, trucking businesses and other companies that have a tie to the toy retailer. That includes the Hudson, Ohio Little Tikes factory that has 1,200 employees and sells just over 40% of its products to Toys R Us.

In September, Toys R Us filed bankruptcy after declining sales for several years due to losing business to online retailers like Amazon and others.

Leave a Reply