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Toys R Us Asia will ‘grow rapidly’ now it’s ‘free from US parents’ contamination’

The new owners of Toys R Us Asia have detailed plans this week to expand the retail chain rapidly throughout China and Japan, having sealed the deal to take over the Asian operations from the US brand.

The store expansion will be backed by creditors and partners that have formed a consortium known as the Taj noteholders. The consortium are holders of senior secured notes in the company and will now control a 79 per cent stake in the Asian unit.

In a news conference in Hong Kong, Toys R Us Asia president and CEO, Andre Javes said the Asian unit ‘has suffered months of contamination from its US parents’ bankruptcy.’

Customers and landlords had previously feared the firm would wind up its Asia business much as it did in the US and in the UK.

The Taj noteholders and Fung Retailing have agreed to a new partnership in a transaction that values the company at around $900 million.

In the Asian market, sales for Toys R Us have been “robust”. The Joint venture between Toys R Us Inc and Fung Retailing had operated independently from the US even before the sale, and was able to fund itself.

“The entity here in Asia has never relied upon the US for financial support,” continued Javes. “We have been a self funding and robust business.”

Net sales in China and Southeast Asia came to $375 million for the year ended Hanuary 2017, up from $365 million a year prior.

The priority of the Asian business is to now expand the chain across the territory. THis includes plans to add 68 stores in its existing Asian markets in 2019. Javes is reportedly considering new markets such as Vietnam and Indonesia.

“We are still underrepresented in many of our geographies. We still have many stores to open,” he said.

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