They Need $1B to Save Toys R Us, Have $200M Already

Isaac Larian, the CEO behind Bratz Dolls, has an ambitious plan
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 22, 2018 7:10 AM CDT
Billionaire Bratz Dolls CEO Has a Plan: Save Toys R Us
In this April 21, 2011 file photo shows MGA chief executive Isaac Larian, left, leaves federal court in Santa Ana, Calif., after a victory over Mattel Inc. The CEO of the maker of the pouty Bratz dolls is launching a campaign to salvage some Toys R Us stores.   (AP Photo/Christine Cotter, File)

Toy company executive Isaac Larian says he and other unnamed investors have pledged a total of $200 million in financing and hope to raise four more times that amount in crowdfunding in order to bid for up to 400 of the Toys R Us stores being liquidated in bankruptcy. The unsolicited bid still faces many hurdles, including finding other deep-pocked investors and getting a bankruptcy judge to agree to it. But this is the first public plan to keep the cherished toy brand in existence in the United States. Such a long-shot move would also greatly benefit Larian's primary business. He's CEO of Bratz doll-maker MGA Entertainment, which relies on Toys R Us for nearly 1 in every 5 sales and is the world's largest privately held toy company. Larian, who is a billionaire, is using his own money, not MGA funds, for the bid.

He and the other investors are interested in more than half the 735 US stores Toys R Us plans to liquidate, and are hoping to secure pledges toward their $1 billion goal. Larian, who estimates that 130,000 US jobs could be lost when you include layoffs at suppliers and logistic operations, said a total Toys R Us liquidation could mean MGA would have to lay off workers at an Ohio plant that makes the Little Tikes toy vehicles. That brand accounts for 25% of MGA total sales, and Larian says only Toys R Us really has enough room to display the cars. Larian claims that if 400 US Toys R Us stores are salvaged, he could save one-third of the 130,000 jobs. Why might he be successful with a retail chain struggling to stay relevant in the age of Amazon? For one thing, Larian wouldn't have the massive $5 billion in debt that hampered the current owner of Toys R Us, notes the AP.

(Read more Toys 'R' Us stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.