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June 1, 2010 > Toys R Us to go public again through $800M IPO

Toys R Us to go public again through $800M IPO

Submitted By AP Wire Service

NEW YORK (AP), May 28 _ Toys R Us Inc. said Friday that it plans to go public again by raising as much as $800 million in an initial public offering.

The retailer of toys, games and other products for infants and children said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it will use the proceeds from the offering to pay off some of its debt and for general corporate purposes.

It did not say how many shares it will sell. It said its stock would trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol ``TOYS.''

Toys R Us, founded by Charles Lazarus, traces its roots back to 1948 to the opening of Children's Bargain Town, a children's furniture store in Washington, D.C. The company took the name Toys R Us in 1957. Lazarus retired as CEO in 1994.

The company, based in Wayne, New Jersey, first went public in 1978. It was acquired for $6.6 billion and taken private in 2005 by a group of investors led by Bain Capital, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Vornado Realty Trust as it was becoming increasingly pressured by competition from discounters such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Target Corp. and the Internet.

For years, Toy R Us, which operates or licenses more than 1,500 stores, was the leading toy retailer in the world, but as discounters began encroaching on its territory, its sales began to suffer. The Internet posed another challenge as shoppers began looking for hot toys and bargains online. Toys R Us didn't begin selling online through its Toysrus.com and Babiesrus.com websites until 2006.

Since then, the company has increased its presence on the Web acquiring the web adresses eToys.com, babyuniverse.com, FAO.com and toys.com in 2009. That year, it also bought assets from pricey toy retailer FAO Schwarz.

Toys R Us said its net income rose to $312 million from $218 million, in the year that ended Jan. 30. Revenue fell to $13.57 billion from $13.72 billion, a year earlier, as the recession hurt sales for most retailers. From 2006 to 2008 the company logged steady revenue gains.

The IPO is being managed by some of the biggest names on Wall Street including Goldman Sachs & Co., J.P. Morgan, BofA Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse, Citi and Well Fargo Securities. Needham & Co and Mizuho Securities are serving as co-managers.

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