As Toys “R” Us continues the process of shuttering its US operations—and closes down all of its UK locations—the retailer has received an US$80-million commitment from its Taj noteholder group that will be used as incremental financing for its Asian and Central European operations.
The debtor-in-possession financing will supplement liquidity and support the working capital needs of the company’s operations in both regions. TRU announced in a statement that its Asian and Central European operations have sufficient liquidity to fund their current operations (based on historical trends), and that the funding injection provides greater flexibility to grow its footprint in these territories and build inventory ahead of the 2018 holiday season.
Toys “R” Us received interim approval of the incremental financing from the US Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia yesterday, and final approval by the court is scheduled for April 27.
The Wall Street Journal reports that bankruptcy lawyer Joshua Sussberg of Kirkland & Ellis told the court that Toys “R” Us has received multiple bids of more than US$1 billion for a majority stake in its Asian business. Interested bidders are reportedly looking to take an 85% stake in TRU’s Asian operations, which include more than 400 physical locations in Greater China and Southeast Asia.
As of early last month, the retailer’s Asian operations had roughly US$230 million in liquidity comprised of cash and available lines of credit. TRU’s Central European operations, meanwhile, had approximately US$28 million in cash.
Kirkland & Ellis is serving as principal legal counsel to Toys “R” Us, while Alvarez & Marsal acts as restructuring advisor.
Toys “R” Us (along with certain of its American and Canadian subsidiaries) filed for bankruptcy protection last September. At that time, the retailer said it would use the court-supervised proceedings to restructure its outstanding debt and establish a sustainable capital structure in order to invest in long-term growth. TRU Canada’s business operates autonomously from US operations, but Toys “R” Us and its adviors are currently in active discussions regarding an acquisition of Toys “R” Us Canada’s entire business.