Geoffrey, the New Jersey-based IP holding company subsidiary for Toys “R” Us, has decided to retain TRU’s brand assets and hatch a plan to revive it in some way.
Geoffrey will control a portfolio of TRU content including trademarks, e-commerce assets and data associated with the TRU and Babies “R” Us businesses around the world. This includes more than 20 well-known toy and baby brands such as Imaginarium, Koala Baby, Fastlane and Journey Girls.
The reorganized company now owns the brands’ rights in all global markets, with the exception of Canada, where they’re an asset of Fairfax Financial. Geoffrey will also become the brands’ licensor for existing franchisees in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and South Africa.
The next steps will be to work with potential partners to develop new ideas for the stores in the US and abroad, and bring back the brands in some kind of re-imagined way.
Geoffrey’s change of heart follows five months of research and proposals by Boston-based investment bank Consensus showing how the company could acquire and use the IP assets. Management then decided that the potential value of the existing IP was higher and had more potential than any acquisition bid being offered.
The transition still needs to be approved by the United States Bankruptcy Court and all other creditors.
Toys “R” Us filed for bankruptcy protection in September 2017. At the time, the retailer said it would use the court-supervised proceedings to restructure its outstanding debit of US$5.2 billion. Since then, it has announced the intention to shut down its US operations, closing more than 700 stores and eliminating 30,000 jobs.