Toys ‘R’ Us has a new owner, WHP Global, which has acquired a controlling interest in parent company Tru Kids. WHP, which also owns the Anne Klein and Joseph Abboud fashion brands, will leverage its global network and digital platform to help grow Toys ‘R’ Us and Babies ‘R’ Us around the world.
Despite the brands’ decline, Toys ‘R’ Us and Babies ‘R’ Us still generate more than $2 billion in global retail sales annually, according to WHP. The companies have 900 branded stores and ecommerce sites in more than 25 countries across North America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and the Middle East. Going forward, WHP will manage the global Tru Kids business and direct its strategic expansion.
“Our investment in Toys ‘R’ Us reflects our belief and passion for the brand,” said Yehuda Shmidman, Chairman and CEO at WHP in a statement. “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.”
Shmidman has served as Vice Chairman of Tru Kids since 2019, giving him experience with the brands he will now lead. WHP is backed by a $350 million equity commitment from funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management LP, with a leverage facility provided to WHP by funds and accounts managed by BlackRock.