Geoffrey LLC, Toys “R” Us Inc.’s intellectual property holding company subsidiary, will move forward with a plan for a group of investors led by Geoffrey LLC’s existing secured lenders to acquire substantially all of its assets. The new company is “in discussions with very interested parties about how the company could look in the future,” according to Richard Barry, executive vice president of global merchandising at Geoffrey LLC, including ideas for new Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us stores in the U.S.
Barry told The Toy Book exclusively that the company will launch a “shop-within-a-shop” concept, called Geoffrey’s Toy Box, with a prominent regional midwest retailer this November. The concept will feature a train of branded Geoffrey’s Toy Box displays.
Geoffrey LLC, as reorganized, will control a portfolio of intellectual property that includes trademarks, e-commerce assets, and data associated with the Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us businesses in the U.S. and all over the world, including a portfolio of more than 20 toy and baby brands such as Imaginarium, Koala Baby, Fastlane, and Journey Girls. These brands in total accounted for $780 million dollars in annual retail sales, according to Barry.
The announcement was made following a five month marketing effort by Boston-based Consensus, an investment bank retained to market the assets of Geoffrey LLC, that resulted in several formal and informal proposals to acquire the intellectual property assets. After considering such proposals, it was determined that the proposal from the existing term lenders was meaningfully higher and better than any other global bid or the sum of the bids received on individual assets. The transition of the business to its new owners is pending approval of the United States Bankruptcy Court and all major creditor constituencies are supportive.
The reorganized company will own rights to the Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us brands in all markets globally, with the exception of Canada. It will also become the licensor of the brands to the company’s existing network of franchisees operating in countries across Asia, Europe, and the Middle East, and in South Africa.