$400m of debt is due in 2018.
According to reports emanating from the USA, Toys R Us has hired a law firm to help restructure its roughly $400 million in debt due in 2018, a move that could potentially include the store filing for bankruptcy protection. Addressing the retailer’s debt load prior to the crucial holiday season could give its suppliers clarity into the company’s long-term viability to help ensure they continue to stock its shelves throughout the holidays.
Toys R Us is said to have hired restructuring lawyers at Kirkland & Ellis to help address the looming payments. Hiring a law firm is not indicative of a bankruptcy filing, and many companies work with law firms to successfully refinance or restructure their debt without filing for protection.
Toys R Us had previously announced that it is working with Lazard to help address its debt load, and successfully refinanced some of its debt just a year ago. Still, it has become increasingly difficult for leveraged retailers to tap the refinancing market, as lenders have become nervous at the increasing number of retail bankruptcies.
Toys R Us spokeswoman Amy von Walter said in a statement: “As we previously discussed on our first quarter earnings call, Toys R Us is evaluating a range of alternatives to address our 2018 debt maturities, which may include the possibility of obtaining additional financing. We expect to provide an update about these activities, as well as the many initiatives underway to provide an outstanding customer experience in our global retail locations and webstore during the holiday season, during our second quarter earnings call on 26th September.”
Toys R Us owners Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, Bain Capital Partners and Vornado Realty Trust are said to have either declined to comment or did not immediately have a comment. Kirkland also did not immediately have a comment.