Business World

Friday 27 April 2018

Ashley is among the bidders for Toys R Us

Photo: PA
Photo: PA

Alastair Marsh

Retail billionaire Mike Ashley's Sports Direct is among bidders for certain Toys R Us stores in the UK, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The group has submitted an offer for some properties backing a 2013 securitisation known as Debussy DTC, said the person, who isn't authorised to talk about it and asked not to be identified. Private equity firm TPG is also competing for some assets backing the Debussy debt, while Hayfin Capital Management plans to submit a bid or provide financing to potential buyers, said the person.

The £263m (€300m) Debussy bonds, which are backed by a loan financing 31 properties in the UK, came under stress late last year as the toy seller tried to restructure its British operations after filing for bankruptcy protection in the US. The securitised loan is now in the hands of administrators, and lenders have appointed real estate firm Morgan Williams to sell the properties to recover money for the bonds.

"The buildings would require significant investment in order for them to be elevated, but we are always open-minded about opportunities in key strategic locations, as per our previously stated elevation strategy," said Alex McMillan, property investment manager at Ashley's Sports Direct.

Officials for TPG and Hayfin declined to comment on the firms' involvement in the bidding process. (Bloomberg)

Irish Independent

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