Toys R Us drops plans for IPO

Toys R Us withdraws plan for IPO as it reports a weak fourth quarter

Associated Press

WAYNE, N.J. (AP) -- Toys R Us Inc. on Friday withdrew its plans to take the nation's largest toy retailer public, citing tough market conditions and a change in leadership.

The Wayne, N.J., company filed the regulatory paperwork for a potential offering in 2010 but has yet to make the move as it struggles with soft sales in the tough economy.

The company said it was giving up on the IPO as it released fourth-quarter results on Friday that showed net income down 30 percent to $239 million from a year earlier. Revenue slipped to $5.8 billion from $5.9 billion.

U.S. sales were down about 2 percent to $3.5 billion, with sales at stores open at least a year off by 4.5 percent. That is an important indicator of a retailer's performance because it excludes stores recently opened or closed.

Sales in the company's international segment fell 3.4 percent to $2.3 billion in the fourth quarter, with sales at stores open at least a year down 5.4 percent.

Toys R Us announced in February that Gerald Storch is stepping down as CEO, and it is beginning a search for a new leader. The company said Storch will remain in his position as chairman of the company's board and stay on as CEO through a transition period.

Toys R Us first went public in 1978 and was taken private in 2005 when it was acquired by an investment group that included Bain Capital Partners LLC, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. and Vornado Realty Trust.

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