The Toys 'R' Us brands have changed hands again.  "Brand acquisition and management firm" WHP Global has acquired a controlling interest in Tru Kids Inc., the owner of the brands, and will take over management control, the company announced.  WHP CEO Yehuda Shmidman has served as Vice Chairman of TRU since 2019.

In addition to Toys 'R' Us, WHP owns Anne Klein and Joseph Abboud, and operates a turnkey direct-to-consumer ecomm platform, with in-house operations including technology, data analytics, logistics, creative, and digital marketing.

Tru Kids Inc., run by former Toys 'R' Us executives, ended up owning the brands, collecting licensing fees from stores outside the U.S., and attempting to restart retail operations (see "New Company with Toys R Us Trademarks Headed to Toy Fair").  Those efforts in the U.S. ended in January (see "Toys R Us Closes Chain").  The Toys 'R' Us and Babies 'R' Us brands generate over $2 billion in retail sales in 25 countries, including Canada.

Other shareholders in Tru Kids include funds managed by Solus Alternative Asset management and by the Private Equity Group of Ares Management Corporation.  WHP is backed by a $350 million equity commitment from funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management L.P., and by a leverage facility by funds and accounts managed by Blackrock.