Toy magnate bids $1.1 billion for Toys "R" Us stores in Canada and U.S.

A "Going Out Of Business" sign hangs over the Toys R Us store logo in Omaha, Neb., Monday, April 9, 2018. MGA Entertainment making a US$890 million bid for Toys R Us stores in Canada and the U.S. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Nati Harnik

The head of toy giant MGA Entertainment Inc. says he and other investors have put in a $1.1 billion bid for Toys "R" Us stores in Canada and the U.S.

Isaac Larian, the billionaire who the company behind Little Tikes, Bratz and L.O.L. Surprise! toys, says the toy industry will "truly suffer" if Toys R Us goes under.

The bid, supported by Larian, investors and bank financing, includes $271 million to buy the Toys "R" Us stores in Canada, as well as $851 million to buy about 274 stores in the U.S.

Larian has also had about $252 million to date committed through a crowdfunding effort aimed at raising $1.3 billion to keep stores open, but the campaign doesn't cover Canadian stores.

Toys R Us said in March that it was closing its 740 U.S. stores and some overseas operations after struggling under heavy debt and other challenges, but it planned to keep Canadian operations running.

The company's Canadian operations are run separately from its U.S. dealings, but Toys "R'' Us CEO David Brandon has said the company will try to bundle its Canadian business with about 200 U.S. stores as it looks to find a buyer.

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