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Toys R Us owner looking to sell UK operations, reports suggest

PUBLISHED: 14:50 01 February 2018 | UPDATED: 14:50 01 February 2018

Toys R Us at Copdock. Picture: Archant archive

Toys R Us at Copdock. Picture: Archant archive

The future of Toys R Us' UK arm has been thrown into doubt again weeks after a deal was secured to save it.

After reaching an agreement with the pensions lifeboat in December – which will see it close around a quarter of its UK stores and plunge almost £10m into its pension fund – the company, which has outlets in Norwich and Ipswich, was thought to be back on an even keel.

But Sky News is reporting that the firm’s American parent company has begun a frantic search for a buyer for its UK operations, with suggestions that poor Christmas trading left it facing cashflow problems.

In December Toys R Us announced it would be closing 26 UK stores as part of a company voluntary arrangement (CVA), which also saw it agree to put £9.8m into its pension pot over the next three years to help patch a £25m to £30m shortfall.

It followed an announcement in September that its US parent company had filed for bankruptcy protection in America and Canada.

But Sky News says advisers managing the bankruptcy are “sounding out” potential buyers for the UK arm.

Toys R Us employs around 3,200 in the UK, around 2,400 of whom had their jobs protected when the CVA was agreed shortly before Christmas.

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