One week after news broke that Mastermind Toys had filed for creditor protection, the specialty toy and children’s book retailer has announced that it has entered into an asset purchase agreement with Unity Acquisitions Inc. This is the company owned by Canadian retailer Joe Mimran, Frank Rocchetti, and David Lui.
Under the terms of the transaction, Unity will purchase the majority of Mastermind Toys store locations and see a significant portion of employees continuing with the business.
“Mastermind Toys is a beloved Canadian retailer with a loyal customer base driven by quality, curiosity and play,” says Mimran. “The acquisition aligns with Unity’s strategy to enhance and grow extraordinary Canadian brands. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with the team at Mastermind Toys and take the brand and the business to the next level.”
The transaction is subject to certain closing conditions, including approval from the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in the Company’s ongoing proceedings under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA). The transaction is expected to close in January 2024.
Meanwhile, holiday sales and promotions will continue at all Mastermind Toys locations. Mastermind Toys is also introducing an extended holiday return and exchange policy for purchases made online and in-stores, other than at the 18 stores conducting liquidation sales. The liquidating stores are not part of the transaction.
Mastermind Toys has been in business for 39 years. The retailer has 66 stores across Canada and focuses on educational tools and books. The company also stands out with its gift wrapping services.
Established this year, Unity Acquisitions Inc. is led by industry veterans Joe Mimran, Frank Rocchetti, and David Lui. The company recently also acquired Kit and Ace and Casca Footwear. Mimran and Rocchetti also oversee the growth of Tilley Endurables Inc. and, in 2020, introduced Rise Little Earthling, an organic line for babies and toddlers sold across Canada and the U.S.
Mimran, however, is arguably best known as founder of the Joe Fresh clothing line, which is sold through Loblaw locations, including Real Canadian Superstore. He has also recently collaborated with Staples Inc. to create Gry Mattr by Joe Mimran, a collection of office and travel pieces. Lui is the CEO of Kit and Ace and has over 30 years of entrepreneurial and retail experience with global brands.