Crowd­fund­ing cam­paign a fizzer

Weekend Gold Coast Bulletin - - BUSINESS -

NOS­TAL­GIA hasn’t trans­lated into dol­lars in a long-shot ef­fort to crowd­fund a fu­ture for Toys R Us.

Nei­ther did ef­forts to re­cruit other toy mak­ers.

A cam­paign led by a bil­lion­aire toy ex­ec­u­tive who pledged $US200 mil­lion ($256 mil­lion) with other in­vestors in hopes of sav­ing part of the bank­rupt chain has foundered, with only $US59,000 ($75,688) more raised in three weeks. Isaac Lar­ian said Thurs­day he’s dis­ap­pointed but still plans to for­mally sub­mit a bid this week for more than 300 stores in the U.S. and Canada.

Mr Lar­ian, CEO of pri­vately held MGA En­ter­prises that makes the pop­u­lar LOL Sur­prise dolls, said other toy com­pa­nies ini­tially were in­ter­ested in join­ing the crowd­fund­ing ef­fort but backed down. Mr Lar­ian, who had said he would use his own money for the bid, said he was baf­fled and said they were pub­lic com­pa­nies think­ing about the short term.

The liq­ui­da­tion of Toys R Us “is go­ing to have a longterm ef­fect on the toy busi­ness,” he said. He plans to sub­mit to the bankruptcy court a for­mal bid of $675 mil­lion to buy 274 Toys R Us stores and use the brand name. The money will come from his own cof­fers, other in­vestors and bank fi­nanc­ing.

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