Tru Kids, the parent company of Toys “R” Us, has announced that WHP Global, a brand acquisition and management group, has acquired a controlling stake in the firm.
The deal will include WHP’s takeover of Toys “R” Us, Babies “R” Us, Geoffrey the Giraffe, and 20 other related brands.
Operating across almost 900 branded stores in over 25 global markets, Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us alone generate over £1.4bn in annual retail sales.
The transaction means that WHP will now manage the global Tru business, directing its strategic expansion.
Yehuda Shmidman, chairman and CEO at WHP, said that the investment represents the group’s “belief and passion for the brand”.
He added: “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.
“This is a natural fit for WHP, as we can leverage our global network and digital platform to help grow Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us around the world.”
A number of institutional investors also hold a stake in Tru, including funds managed by Solus Alternative Asset Management and the private equity arm of Ares Management Corporation.
However, WHP has injected the largest investment, as the business is backed by a £250m equity commitment from funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management, as well as a leverage facility provided by BlackRock.