The Toys R Us (TRU) saga is proving to be the never ending story, with reports now suggesting that Gerald Storch, former TRU CEO and chairman, is looking to save some TRU US properties.
A source told the New York Post that Storch is interested in purchasing the distribution centres and TRU trademarks, including the Babies R Us (BRU) brand.
According to the source, Storch plans to open a new hub close to the former headquarters and retain the top employees.
“Almost all of the pieces are left — the systems, distribution centres, stores, vendors — none of it is in anyone’s hands yet,” the source told the Post.
150 of the US stores have been auctioned off and the intellectual property (IP) – including customer data – goes up for sale on 18 June.
Another suggestion doing the rounds is that TRU US turned down a purchase deal with Sycamore Partners and Target.
Bloomberg News reported that Sycamore Partners was interested in keeping stores open through an acquisition deal while Target pursued buying up assets – including the parent registry and website of BRU.
However, senior creditors chose to liquidate the business to get a better return at auction, sources told Bloomberg.
Lenders initially were in favour of selling the business, but as the challenges emerged, changed direction and pushed for liquidation, the sources said.
According to the sources, lenders were convinced they could generate more value from selling the IP separate from the store estate, as the licensing fees – for use of the TRU brand and related assets – from the oversees divisions was/is generating millions.
Lenders reportedly believe that they can leverage this and licence the IP to additional entities, including any potential last minute buyers in the US.