Toys R Us gets $100m from personal investor with some stores likely to be saved
New York — The head of the company that created Bratz dolls and Little Tikes sees a future Toys R Us that lives on beyond the company’s expected liquidation.
MGA Entertainment CEO Isaac Larian said he has personally put forward roughly $100m to help buy the toy store company’s assets and expects 200 to 400 US stores to be saved.
"There is a lot of value in the Toys R Us name, a lot of value in all the assets they have," Larian said in an interview on Bloomberg Television. "If Toys R Us is not here, I think the toy business as a whole will have a devastating year — this year and the following year."
Larian’s push to help the toy retailer survive liquidation includes a bid that MGA and a group of investors made for the Canadian assets of Toys R Us last week. Outside of MGA, Larian and other investors launched a campaign on GoFundMe for the purchase of assets from the company. Their goal is to raise $1bn by Memorial Day in the US.
The bankruptcy and subsequent liquidation of Toys R Us has bludgeoned toy makers, which stand to lose a key distribution channel and platform to test new products. Mattel’s stock has lost about 47% of its value in the last 12 months, with Hasbro slipping more than 14% over the same period.
MGA, based in Van Nuys, California, is privately held.
Amazon is also said to be considering buying some of the stores in a move to expand its retail footprint and showcase hardware such as the Echo line of devices. The liquidating company filed for bankruptcy in September and has struggled to find bidders for other assets.