According to Sky News, bids for the UK stores are being urgently sought, along with offers for 230 TRU stores in ten European markets.
Sky News has reported that advisers to the retailer’s US parent company have met prospective bidders in the last 48 hours and told them to submit expressions of interest by the end of Thursday. The truncated timetable underlines the urgency of the situation.
Sky News has also suggested that the entire European operations of the retailer are now on the market, encompassing 236 stores outside the UK in ten countries including Austria, France, Germany and Spain.
The UK and European businesses are being sold through separate processes being run by Lazard and Alvarez & Marsal. Sources said the UK faced the more imminent threat of bankruptcy, with a cash call due later this month meaning administration is inevitable without new funds being injected into the business.
The prospects of a solvent sale are unclear, with potential buyers likely to wait until Toys R Us UK has entered administration before trying to pick off the most attractive stores.
According to Sky News, a Toys R Us UK spokesperson declined to elaborate on a statement issued last week about the plan to offload the British operations, which said: “The US business is exploring a number of options as it develops plans to exit Chapter 11. These conversations are confidential but I can assure you that they are acting in the best interests of employees, business partners, shareholders and lenders.”