aNb Media News, April 25, 2018

Toy Association to Hold Member Call on Toys “R” Us Bankruptcy

The Toy Association will hold a member call to provide guidance and information on the Toys “R” Us (TRU) bankruptcy case on Thursday, April 26, 2 p.m. EST.

During the call, representatives from TRU legal counsel, Kirkland & Ellis, and its financial advisors, Alvarez & Marsal, will provide members with an update on the liquidation process, sales of the Canadian and other international operations, the status of the motion to file administrative claims, and other matters.

This call will serve as a follow-up to the call held on March 30, which provided updates on the TRU bankruptcy from the Unsecured Creditors Committee legal counsel, Kramer Levin, and financial advisors, FTI Consulting.

This is the fifth in a series of TRU-related sessions presented by The Toy Association since the retailer filed for bankruptcy last fall. Additional information can be accessed on The Toy Association’s TRU Bankruptcy Information resource page.

Student Inventors Fete Rube Goldberg in 30th Anniversary Machine Contest

More than 350 student inventors from across the country competed in the 30th anniversary Rube Goldberg Machine Contest (RGMC) Live Finals at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago April 21-22. Nearly 40 individual teams participated in the annual STEM contest, which also premiered an apprentice division for the first time, bringing elementary school into the RGMC activities.

Throughout the two-day event, students in the apprentice, middle school, high school, and university divisions vied for first place, building and then showcasing their machines inspired by the legacy of Rube Goldberg.

This year’s challenge was to “Pour a Bowl of Cereal” and the task sponsor was General Mills. Students from elementary to university levels made this simple task ridiculously complicated and were judged on their teamwork, creativity, and the spirit of Rube Goldberg. The 38 teams who competed at the live finals won regional competitions, where more than 250 teams competed.

Toys “R” Us Receives Court Approval for Sale of Canadian Ops, Smyth Toys in Dealings to Acquire TRU Operations Overseas

Toys “R” Us (TRU) received court approval on Tuesday, March 24, for the sale of its Canadian operations to the Toronto-based Fairfax Financial.

TRU cancelled the initial auction for its Canadian business assets following Fairfax Financial’s bid of $236.8 million (C$300) million to purchase its 82 stores. According to court documents, there were no other qualified bidders other than Fairfax Financial. A previous bid of $215 million from MGA Entertainment CEO Isaac Larian to purchase the Canadian operations was rejected as too low. His bid of $675 million to buy 274 U.S. TRU stores was also rejected.

Toys “R” Us filed for bankruptcy in September, and announced last month that it would officially be closing its doors.

Across the pond, Smyths Toys has also signed a deal to take over TRU in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.

Under the terms of the agreement, the family-owned Irish toys group will acquire 93 locations and four online stores, adding to its own 110 stores and online shops in Ireland and Britain. The company plans to absorb all TRU units, staff, and management in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, according to reports. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. It awaits final approval by a U.S. court and other authorities.

Earlier this week, TRU also reported that it has received a commitment from its Taj Noteholders for $80 million in incremental debtor-in-possession (“DIP”) financing to augment liquidity as well as support the working capital needs of the company’s operations in Asia and Central Europe. As of a period ending March 3, 2018, TRU’s Asia operations had approximately $230 million in liquidity comprised of cash and available lines of credit and Central Europe had approximately $28 million of cash.