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Investment Firm Bids $236 Million For Toys ‘R’ Us Canada Stores

Although Toys ‘R’ Us is liquidating its approximately 735 remaining U.S. stores and already has shuttered its e-Commerce site, the toy retailer is still generating lots of post-bankruptcy buzz from suitors — particularly for its brick-and-mortar stores north of the border. Fairfax Financial Holdings, a Toronto-based investment firm, has placed a $236 million bid ($300 million CAD) on the retailer’s Canadian stores.

The offer is subject to higher bids at a court-supervised auction, according to a U.S. Bankruptcy Court filing. Toys ‘R’ Us has rescheduled the auction for its Canadian unit for April 23 and has asked the court to schedule a hearing the following day to rule on the winning bid.

Toys ‘R’ Us is seeking court approval to name Fairfax as the stalking horse, or lead bidder, at the auction. Companies selling assets in bankruptcy often seek to name a stalking horse in order to set a floor price that will encourage bidding.

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The Fairfax bid comes only a few days after Toys ‘R’ Us legal representatives shot down an $890 million bid from MGA Entertainment CEO and Founder Isaac Larian — $215 million of which was specifically set aside to buy all 82 Canadian Toys ‘R’ Us stores.A spokesperson for Larian declined to comment on whether the toy mogul would match the Fairfax bid.

Despite plans to close the U.S. business entirely, Toys ‘R’ Us said it would put its better-performing Canadian operations up for sale. The Canadian sale procedure includes the option to acquire 200 of the top performing U.S. stores in an effort to keep the American presence alive.

Further afield, Toys ‘R’ Us has been attracting significant attention for its Asian business, drawing multiple bids of more than $1 billion for a majority stake. But its UK business has not had as much luck in generating buyer interest — the remaining 75 UK stores will be liquidating by April 24 after the company went into administration.

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