Fairfax Financial bids US$300 million for Toys R Us’s Canadian business

NEW YORK _ Canada’s Fairfax Financial Holding has placed a bid of US$300 million to buy Toys “R” Us’s Canadian operations in bankruptcy.

According to court papers filed late Thursday, the bidder is taking on a role of a “stalking horse” in a court-approved auction set for Monday in New York. That means it could be outbid in the auction if other buyers come in with a higher offer.

The bid from Fairfax surpassed the US$215 million offer that Isaac Larian, the CEO of privately held toy company MGA Entertainment, along with several other investors, made last week. Larian, along with other investors, has also offered US$675 million to buy 274 U.S. stores.

In March, Toys “R” Us said it would be liquidating its U.S. business.

Larian said Friday he was evaluating his options.

“As long as Toys ”R“ Us and jobs are saved, I’m happy. That’s what #SaveToysRUs was and is about,” Larian said in a statement.

“In regards to Toys ”R“ Us USA, the fight to save it is just beginning.”

Fairfax is a holding company involved in property and casualty insurance and reinsurance and investment management.

The company has a reputation for making major investments in what it believes to be undervalued assets.

In 2013, Fairfax made a significant investment in BlackBerry Ltd. at a time when many had raised questions about the future of the company.