Reports suggest that Gerald Storch is considering a deal to save the bankrupt toy retailer.
Toys R Us’ former chief executive, Gerald Storch, is reportedly eyeing a deal that could save some stores before they shutter this summer, the distribution centers and most importantly the Toys R Us trademarks as well as thousands of jobs, according to the New York Post.
Gerald, who was chairman and CEO of the company from 2006 to 2013, is in discussions with several venture groups that are considering buying the remaining parts of the retailer and bringing him on to the management team, according to an anonymous source with knowledge of the talks.
The linchpin of such a deal is the Toys R Us portfolio of intellectual property assets, including its Babies R Us name, domains and other trademarks associated with the 70-year-old company. Those trademarks will be sold at an auction scheduled for 18th June at 10am at the New York City offices of Toys R Us’ bankruptcy law firm, Kirkland & Ellis.
About a month ago, Gerald was seen at Toys R Us headquarters by several people who reported the sighting to TheRockFather.com, a blogger and industry expert.
While Gerald has declined to comment on the story, it is believed that his plan for Toys R Us involves establishing a new hub near the company’s Wayne, NJ-based headquarters to retain the top employees, many of whom have worked for the company for decades.
So far, about 150 of Toys R Us’ 700-plus stores have been sold at an auction in April. Another auction including up to 150 additional stores is scheduled for 11th June.
“Almost all of the pieces are left — the systems, distribution centers, stores, vendors — none of it is in anyone’s hands yet,” said the source, adding that the idea of acquiring the US operations would be “to buy all those things and put them back together really quickly.”
Interest in the trademarks and domains is high, sources say.
But Toys R Us has already been warned that it has no right to sell any of the domain names associated with its former and now defunct subsidiary, KB Toys.
That brand is now owned by Strategic Marks, which bought it from the US Trademark office after Toys R Us let it go dormant — and Strategic Marks is planning a major comeback for KB Toys, including opening 400 stores in malls by the holiday season.
Toys R Us lists more than 60 iterations of the KB Toys domain name, that it hopes to sell on 18th June, according to a bankruptcy court document.
“We are taking legal action to stop them,” Strategic Marks’ CEO Ellia Kassoff said.