NEW YORK: Financial communications teams from Edelman and Kekst aided the $6.6 billion purchase of Toys 'R' Us by three investment firms earlier this month.
Richard Mahony, deputy head of Edelman's financial practice, said that the agency first began its work with Toys 'R' Us last year, assisting the company in a dispute with Amazon.com over its exclusive retailing agreement. Edelman then undertook strategic work in connection with the company's search for a buyer.
"This was a company that really had gone through some very challenging times," Mahony said. "We wanted to make sure ... that the communication strategy supported the business strategy."
Kekst scored a trifecta in the deal, with three teams advising Toys 'R' Us and two of its purchasers, KKR and Vornado Realty Trust. All three companies have been "longstanding" Kekst clients, said partner Jeffrey Taufield.
Susan McLaughlin, director of corporate communications for Toys 'R' US, said that no immediate changes to the five-person in-house PR team would result from the company's sale. She proclaimed the work of both agencies "excellent."
Edelman's consumer practice also helped Toys 'R' Us to promote itself over the Christmas shopping season to avoid being overshadowed by Wal-Mart and other retail competitors. "That was very important, as well," Mahony said. "Performing well over the holidays meant the business was worth more."
He added that Edelman's financial practice will continue to work with the company until the deal is completed in July.