The European toy chain is seeking a buyer, as the threat of bankruptcy puts 1,200 jobs at risk.
The toy store chain Maxi Toys has demanded protection from its creditors from the Mons court.
The chain has stated that the coronavirus crisis has put the company’s future in danger, and that it expects to lose 30m euros in turnover between 14th March and 11th May – a drop of 93%. Maxi Toys has more than 200 stores in Belgium, France, Switzerland and Luxembourg and 1,200 employees. The French arm of the company also plans to seek protection from its creditors.
The Portuguese investment fund Green Swan acquired all of Maxi Toys’ activities, shops and logistics operations for an undisclosed sum from its former owner Blokker Holding in January 2019. In February 2019, Maxi Toys also acquired 39 stores of the Belgian toy chain Bart Smit.
Alain Hellebaut, CEO Maxi Toys, commented: “The sale procedure and the frequent change of shareholding naturally put additional pressure on the operation of the company and the results for the 2019 financial year. Under Green Swan, Maxi Toys acquired the toy store chain Bart Smit (also a former part of the Blokker operation), a company that was already heavily loss-making. We have not been able to sufficiently adjust the business operations and processes in those few months, and that is why Bart Smit’s results for 2019 have further declined.”
Because sales and profits are falling, the company can no longer pay its bills. “We also note that, despite the support measures announced, it is extremely difficult to obtain the necessary working capital financing in the current climate,” Alain added.