Troubled toy retailer Toys “R” Us, which is in the midst of winding its US and UK operations, was reportedly exploring options to grow its most profitable arm — its Asian business – when it was bitten by the bankruptcy bug. The retailer had even considered listing its Asian business on the Hong-Kong stock exchange. Though this plan might not take off, for now, there is a ray of hope for the Asian units as the company has received several bids valued over a billion dollars for its majority stake.
At the US bankruptcy court hearing, the retailer’s lawyer Joshua Sussberg revealed that there were several bids made for an 85% stake in the company’s Asian business and the bids they received were of more than $1 billion valuation.
The retailer has its operations spread globally. Earlier referred to as the king of the toy castle, the company gradually fell behind its competitors on several fronts. Along with Amazon (AMZN) and the boom of online shopping, what killed Toys ”R” Us were their bad store experience and an unaffordable debt that eventually doomed the company.
The retailer, which had over 1,600 stores, filed for bankruptcy in September. Along with the US operations, the company has also shut down its stores in the UK—the final store is expected to close by the end of this month, with only Europe and Asia still functioning.
The lawyer stated that several bidders were interested to own a stake in the company’s Asian unit and also that the company was in the process of finalizing a deal to sell its operations in Central Europe.
Earlier, it was reported that the retailer is planning to offload 85% stake in Asian Venture to the Fung Group- the private holding company of Fung brothers- billionaires from Hong Kong. The deal was expected to give the retailer a valuation of at least $1 billion. The group is said to be looking to add more partners in this deal, though both the parties haven’t reached an agreement.