New York City — WHP Global, a New York City-based firm that acquires global consumer brands, has purchased a controlling stake in Tru Kids Inc., the parent company of Toys ‘R’ Us. WHP Global joins a group of institutional shareholders that includes funds managed by Solus Alternative Asset Management and Ares Management Corp.
Going forward, WHP will manage Tru Kids’ global business and direct its strategic expansion, which according to CNBC will include the reopening of some U.S. stores. Neither the network nor the companies involved in the deal specified how many U.S. stores would open or in what markets the reopenings would occur.
New Jersey-based Tru Kids announced in 2018 that it would be closing and/or selling off all 735 Toys ‘R’ Us stores in the United States. However, the chain and its sister brand, Babies ‘R’ Us, still operate roughly 900 stores and e-commerce sites in other parts of North America, as well as in Africa, Asia, Europe, Australia and the Middle East.
“Our investment in Toys ‘R’Us reflects our belief and passion for the brand,” says Yehuda Shmidman, chairman and CEO at WHP Global. “We are thrilled to be taking the reins of the world’s leading toy brand at a time when the category is up 16% and consumer demand for toys is at an all-time high.”