Toys R Us UK eyed by HMV saviour Hilco Capital

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Rescue

The UK arm of embattled retailer Toys R Us has attracted the interest of Hilco Capital, a firm specialising in turning around distressed retailers such as HMV five years ago.

According to Sky News, Hilco is understood to have submitted a letter of intent to acquire Toys R Us UK before Thursday’s deadline, following a meeting between executives earlier this week.

This comes as Toys R Us UK teeters on the brink of collapse, with thousands of jobs under threat if the struggling retailer doesn’t secure a buyer.

Other potential buyers are reportedly considering offers, but the clock is ticking and bids are due for the end of the week.

Next month Toys R Us has bills that it will be unable to pay without investment from an outside source, plunging it into liquidation.

Its European counterpart is also understood to be being sold off under a separate process.

Hilco Capital purchased the entertainment retailer HMV in 2013, rescuing it from the brink of total liquidation.

This £50 million deal included 141 stores and saved an estimated 2500 jobs.

It also owns Office Outlet, formerly known as Staples, as well as Jewellery retailer Chappelle.

Three days before Christmas last year, Toys R Us UK announced it had secured a company voluntary agreement (CVA) in which 800 jobs are set to be cut, and larger loss-making stores will be shuttered starting in spring.

This agreement was given a green light by the Pension Protection Fund after it the retailer agreed to commit £10 million a year to its significant pensions deficit.

However, under a new owner this commitment may not be carried over.

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