- Shops remain open temporarily
- Sale of Belgian stores in advanced stage
- Possible restart to be investigated
Amsterdam, 21 February 2019. The administrators of Intertoys, the Netherlands’ market-leading toy retailer, today requested that the Amsterdam District Court convert the suspension of payments for Intertoys’ activities in the Netherlands into bankruptcy.
The bankruptcy follows the earlier suspension of payments granted by the Amsterdam District Court on 12 February 2019. The court-appointed administrators Joris Lensink (De Vos & Partners) and Jasper Berkenbosch (Jones Day) have been appointed curators by the court to oversee the bankruptcy settlement.
Shops remain open
At the request of the curators, all Intertoys stores will remain open. This is not least because the administrators will seek to include (part of) the Intertoys activities in a potential restart. To that end, the curators are in discussions with various parties.
Implications of bankruptcy
The bankruptcy means that debts prior to the date of the suspension of payments will not be reimbursed. The curators will now focus on the wind-down of the business, the sale of activities and the settlement of Intertoys’ responsibilities. In that process the curators will represent the interests of the creditors, as well as other parties involved such as employees, franchisees, and suppliers, and will seek to retain as many jobs, shops and franchisees as possible through a (partial) restart.
All obligations explicitly incurred by the administrators during the suspension of payments will be honoured. Salaries of employees will also be paid. In total, approximately 3,200 employees (1,600 FTE), spread across 286 stores in the Netherlands, 2 distribution centres and the service centre in Amsterdam, fall under the bankruptcy. The more than 100 franchisee stores in the Netherlands, and the Belgian activities, are exempt from the bankruptcy.
The bankruptcy includes the previously announced cooling-off period of two months for suppliers. Suppliers with retention of title can therefore NOT collect goods they have delivered. Any valid retention of title will continue to be respected.
Intertoys is in talks that are at an advanced stage to sell Belgian activities operating under the name Bart Smit Speelgoedpaleizen België N.V.. The sale is expected to be completed in the short term.
Cause of bankruptcy
The far-reaching step reflects continuing pressure on the entire retail sector. Increasing online sales have reduced toy store sales by 50% in ten years. Also, specialist stores like Intertoys have faced increasing competition from discounters outside the traditional toy market.
Today’s announcement follows a wide range of investments and initiatives in the past 14 months to improve Intertoys’ performance. Among those were the appointment of new and experienced management, the launch of a new IT platform and web store and improved supplier conditions, better inventory management and a clean-up of old stock, and optimising the supply chain.
The curators will now commence settlement and a possible restart. The curators will publish their first report on this process no later than 21 March 2019. For questions we direct you to the homepage of the Intertoys website www.intertoys.nl.
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