Bed Bath & Beyond has reportedly received interest in BuyBuy Baby from at least two bidders, according to CNBC. DTC baby registry website Babylist is looking at the retailer’s trademark and domain, while an unnamed bidder is looking at BuyBuy Baby as a going concern and has expressed interest in keeping 75% of stores open.
The size of the unnamed bidder’s offer is also unknown, but correspondence seen by CNBC noted that the company was seeking an additional $50 million in capital to shore up its proposal. The company, which is being advised by Ankura Capital Advisors, is reportedly seeking to place a stalking horse bid that could set the price floor for further interest.
The documents seen by CNBC called the unnamed bidder an “independent operator with several successful, complementary retail chains in their portfolio.”
BuyBuy Baby Would Help Babylist Reach Older Shoppers
Babylist CEO Natalie Gordon confirmed her company’s interest in BuyBuy Baby to CNBC but declined to comment on the size of the offer. Bed Bath & Beyond placed the value of its trade names and trademarks at $13.4 million during its latest securities filing.
Babylist could benefit from BuyBuy Baby’s well-established name recognition if it acquires the company’s trademark and domain. This would let Babylist redirect shoppers who search for “BuyBuy Baby” to its own domain, further fueling the retailer’s expansion. Babylist has had nearly 200,000 new signups since the start of Bed Bath & Beyond’s bankruptcy, which is higher than it usually sees in that period of time.
“We have tremendous trust with new and expecting parents but BuyBuy Baby is much better known with kind of that older generation,” said Gordon in an interview with CNBC. “So as we’re expanding to the whole family as an audience, we really think it can jumpstart us in that way.”
Bed Bath & Beyond also is reportedly in talks with two other potential bidders for its banners: Global Retail, the private investment parent of Janie and Jack, and Overstock.com, according to The Wall Street Journal. Global Retail is interested in keeping BuyBuy Baby’s physical footprint open, while Overstock is seeking to acquire Bed Bath & Beyond’s intellectual property but would shutter its brick-and-mortar stores, according to people familiar with the matter.
A bigger digital presence could help Babylist continue fueling its growth, complementing the soon-to-open flagship store in Beverly Hills, Calif. Gordon has credited the company’s popularity with younger parents to its expertise at “creating the kind of experience people who are becoming parents want online, through TikTok and in the metaverse.”
Despite the interest in BuyBuy Baby, no potential buyers have been found for parent company Bed Bath & Beyond’s stores. However, some bidders are reportedly interested in acquiring its digital assets, a person familiar with the matter told CNBC.
Stalking horse bids for the banners are due on June 8, and final bids are due on June 14. An auction, if necessary, is scheduled for June 16.