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Shelly Banjo

Playtime At Toys 'R' Us

Saddled with debt and left by some for dead, it's on the rebound.

With consumers able to buy toys everywhere, from Amazon to the local drugstore, big toy chains have mostly withered away -- which makes it all the more remarkable that Toys "R" Us is still very much in business in the U.S. and expanding in countries such as China, Japan, and the U.K. 

Taken private by KKR, Bain Capital and Vornado Realty Trust in a 2005 leveraged buyout that saddled it with debt, Toys "R" Us had all been written off by most retail watchers as a relic that would go the way of Borders or Circuit City. The company scrapped IPO plans. Its debt levels skyrocketed. Suppliers had trouble getting loans to finance the production of goods for the retailer. It counted three CEOs in three years.