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Toys "R" Us could have been saved

Illustration: Sarah Grillo / Axios
Illustration: Sarah Grillo / Axios

We now have even more reason to blame senior secured lenders to Toys "R" Us for the retailer's epic shutdown, with Bloomberg reporting that buyout firm Sycamore Partners held advanced talks to buy the company and keep half of its U.S. stores in business:

"The retailer’s senior creditors calculated they would see a better return if the company were liquidated and its assets sold off."

Bottom line: This still doesn't excuse the many mistakes made by private equity firms Bain Capital and KKR . But thousands of jobs could have been saved if not for "B4 lender" intransigence.

It's something we've discussed before, and it's only reinforced by the Sycamore revelation.

  • Final inventory, per Bloomberg: "Almost every company asset—cash flows, property, inventory, equity in the international operations—was pledged to a lender, sometimes twice. Toys "R” Us had nothing left to promise."

Flashbacks: The Toys "R" Us blame game, and why it wasn't a total loss for Bain and KKR.