Toys 'R' Us has hired Kirkland & Ellis to represent them as they can start bankruptcy proceedings.The move that shocked investors sent the company's stock plummeting. Toys 'R' Us has $7.5 billion in debt. The company has seen their sales fall over the last five years, while sales of toys have risen by about 25 percent over that same time frame. The problem for the company is that more consumers are shopping online for toys from retail giants like Amazon and Walmart.
The move to hire Kirkland & Ellis is a strong sign that the company who has recently been searching for a restructuring loan for $400 million that comes due in 2018 sees no path forward except bankruptcy. Investment bankers say that the likelihood of Toys 'R' Us to default on the loan in the next five years is about 95 percent. In fact, over 60 percent believe that the company will default within the next year unless they can get relief through bankruptcy.
The company that does about 40 percent of the business during the winter holiday season is also having trouble with vendors. Many vendors are demanding payment up front for products shipped to the company. Many say that they fear that they will be lumped with other creditors allowing them to receive only pennies on the dollar.