Toys “R” Us Asia; What’s In a Name? We’re About to Find Out.

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other word would smell as sweet."

Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare

Who will end up owning the Toys R Us stores in Asia and who will end up owning the name? That is the big question, as two powerful groups of hedge funds fight to determine an acceptable selling price and whether the name Toys "R" Us is part of the deal.

Toys "R" Us (Asia) Limited, a highly popular and profitable destination for toys in that part of the world, is the last remaining Toys "R" Us asset to go on the auction block.  The Asian group is substantial and growing, consisting of 400 stores in China, Brunei,Japan, Hong Kong, Macau, Malaysia, Singapore,Philippines, Taiwan and Thailand.

Its a bit complicated but here is how I understand it:

1.    A group of hedge funds, I'll call "A" (Solus Alternative Asset Management and Oaktree Capital Management), own the rights to the name Toys "R" Us.

2.    Another group of hedge funds, I'll call "B" (Cyrus Capital Partners and Cerberus Capital Management), is the leading bidder for the stores.

3.    Group A is refusing to let Group B or any other purchaser have the rights to the use of the name, Toys "R" Us, unless the auction price for the stores meets their demands. 

"So, what's in a name?" Depending upon the outcome of the auction and any subsequent litigation and negotiation, Asian consumers may just get a chance to let us know, as they decide for themselves just how valuable the name Toys "R" Us is. 

One thought

  1. I am David from India. I do not think the TRU name signifies anything now and currently more negative than any positive. Communication travels very far and wide and everyone is aware of what happened to Toys R Us globally. In India where Toys R Us stores are just being opened, the name is not going to be of any significance in bringing in customers. More than that it is going to be the merchandise, the range and the customer service that will dictate the sales than the name. Let the Groups A or B can fight it out but it is of no consequence for us in India.

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