Apr 18, 2018

Toys "R" Us reportedly rejects takeover bid for U.S. stores

Illustration: Sarah Grillo / Axios

The lender group controlling Toys "R" Us has rejected an $890 million offer from billionaire Isaac Larian that would have involved the takeover of over 200 U.S. stores and more than 80 Canadian stores, according to multiple media reports.

Why it matters: A lot of jobs are at stake here, and the lenders seem uninterested in saving them.

Larian, who founded the company that makes Bratz dolls, had worked for the past month on his offer, which envisioned a revised store concept that he described as "a mini-Disneyland in each neighborhood." It had included both a crowdfunding campaign and involvement from banks UBS and BofA.

But the "B-4 lenders," who assumed control of Toys "R" Us after its Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, have exhibited tunnel vision toward liquidation for the U.S. stores. In fact, Larian says he wasn't even informed his bid was being rejected, thus not giving him the opportunity to make it more attractive.

  • No, private equity still isn't off the hook here. It helped cause this mess in the first place, but it's no longer calling the shots.

What's next: A bankruptcy court auction is expected to take place today, but there is no word yet on if there are any other viable offers that would maintain the portfolio of performing U.S. stores.

Sad Toy Story GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY
Source: Giphy

Go deeper

In photos: Deadly Storm Dennis lashes U.K., Ireland and western France

A family is rescued from a property in Nantgarw, Wales, on Sunday. The storm comes a week after the U.K. was battered by storm Ciara, which killed two people, per the BBC. Photo: Matthew Horwood/Getty Images

Storm Dennis continued to pummel parts of England, Wales and Ireland over Sunday night with heavy rain after battering Northern Ireland and Scotland, per the official British weather agency the Met Office.

Why it matters: It's the second-strongest nontropical storm ever recorded in the North Atlantic Ocean, with its hurricane-force winds and heavy rains that caused widespread flooding across the U.K., the Washington Post notes. Police in Wales confirmed Sunday they found the body of a man who fell into a river as the storm lashed Ystradgynlais.

See photosArrow51 mins ago - World

Sanders accuses Bloomberg of trying to "buy" the 2020 election

Sen. Bernie Sanders and Mike Bloomberg. Photos: Drew Angerer; Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Sen. Bernie Sanders tore into 2020 rival Michael Bloomberg at a Las Vegas campaign event Saturday, saying the billionaire and former New York mayor is trying to "buy the presidency" by paying millions of dollars in advertising.

Why it matters: Bloomberg has surged in national polling recently, having poured millions of dollars into campaign ads largely targeting Trump. His candidacy has become an obvious foil for Sanders, whose grassroots campaign railing against billionaires and the establishment has vaulted him to front-runner status.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus cases rise, as more Americans on cruise confirmed ill

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's NHC; Note: China refers to mainland China and the Diamond Princess is the cruise ship offshore Yokohama, Japan. Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

A U.S. public health official confirms more than 40 Americans on the Diamond Princess cruise ship off Japan have coronavirus, while the remaining U.S. citizens without symptoms are being evacuated.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 1,770 people and infected almost 70,000 others. Most cases and all but five of the deaths have occurred in mainland China. Taiwan confirmed its first death on Sunday, per multiple reports, in a 61-year-old man with underlying health conditions. Health officials were investigating how he became ill.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 5 hours ago - Health