Despite grim news for Toys R Us in the UK and US, the brand may yet endure, at least in Canada.
The CBC reported today that Isaac Larian, CEO of MGA Entertainment, the California-based owner of the Bratz, Little Tikes, and L.O.L. Surprise brands, has made an offer to buy Toys R Us' Canadian operations.
A Toys R Us representative confirmed that it was in "active discussions" on a specific deal that would see the Canadian branch of the company acquired, but did not name MGA as the party it was negotiating with. The company added that Toys R Us Canada operated autonomously from the US company and "continues to be a stable and profitable market leader in Canada."
Toys R Us Canada president Melanie Teed-Murch released a statement separately reassuring customers that all 82 Canadian Toys R Us and Babies R Us locations remain open, and will continue to honor gift cards and loyalty programs.
"We are taking the necessary steps to ensure the iconic Toys R Us and Babies R Us brands live on for many generations to come in Canada," Teed-Murch said.
While Toys R Us Canada did file for protections under the Companies' Creditors Arraignment Act last September when its US counterpart entered bankruptcy, the stores have been operating as usual, and the representative said they still have sufficient cash to continue without disruption.
"Toys R Us Canada is a good business," Larian told the CBC. "They run it efficiently, and have good leadership. At the right price, it makes economical sense."
Toys R Us is in the process of liquidating its stores in the UK, and has told employees in the US that it plans to close or sell all of its stores. The CBC reported that liquidation is also the likely end for Toys R Us in Australia, France, Poland, Portugal and Spain.