The Real Deal New York

Billionaire bailout: Issac Larian tries one last time to save Toys ‘R’ Us

It wasn't over, it still isn't over.
March 24, 2018 03:00PM

From back: Toys ‘R’ Us in Montarville, QC, Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams in The Notebook. (Credit: Mike Kalasnik, Funny Gifs)

After Toys ‘R’ Us threw in the towel and announced it would close all 735 American stores, billionaire Issac Larian has come up with a last-ditch effort to save some of the toy retailer’s stores.

He’s bringing $100 million of his personal funds, according to Bloomberg, and he’s also launched a GoFundMe campaign to garner external funds, which has currently attracted over $200 million in funds — though the majority was donated by Larian himself, according to USA Today. Though Larian is the CEO of MGA Entertainement, the maker of Bratz dolls and Little Tikes, he says MGA is not involved in his campaign.

“There is a lot of value in the Toys ‘R’ Us name, a lot of value in all the assets that they have,” Larian told Bloomberg. “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.”

Toys ‘R’ Us’ announcements of liquidation has already had a dramatic effect on toy makers such as Mattel and Hasbro — both companies’ stocks dipped, Mattel by 47 percent, Hasbro by 14 percent, as Bloomberg reports. Numbers weren’t available for MGA, which is privately held.

Best case scenario, Larian is hoping to save about 400 stores, which leaves hundreds more up for grabs. According to Bloomber, other possible buyers include Amazon.

Toys ‘R’ Us filed for bankruptcy in September with a $5 billion worth of outstanding debt. The retailer employs an estimated 33,000 people. [Bloomberg]Erin Hudson