Money Toys “R” Us can pay executives millions in bonuses, bankruptcy judge rules

04:20  08 december  2017
04:20  08 december  2017 Source:   Toronto Star

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× Bankrupt Toys R Us ' plan to pay executives multimillion-dollar bonuses 'defies logic and sense,' US trustee says. Toys R Us filed for bankruptcy restructuring earlier this year, after being crushed by a mountain of debt resulting from a leveraged buyout.

Toys R Us filed a motion Nov. 15 asking for permission for an executive incentive bonus plan that would give its top executives million in extra pay . Bankruptcy Judge Keith L. Phillips, who is hearing the case in Richmond, Va., is expected to rule on the motion in December.


With the shopping season looming and bankruptcy proceedings underway in federal court, Toys “R” Us went to its creditors in November with an unorthodox request. To boost holiday sales, the insolvent company asked, let us pay out millions of dollars in bonuses to our top executives.

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On Tuesday, a bankruptcy judge approved the proposal. Under the plan, Toys R Us will pay 17 executives some million in incentive bonuses , as long as the company hits its target of 0 million in earnings.

WAYNE, N.J. — Bankrupt retailer Toys R Us is asking for approval to pay 17 of its senior executives million in incentive pay . Those bonuses could be larger if toy sales during the holiday season are better than expected.

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On Tuesday, a bankruptcy judge approved the proposal.

Attorneys for Toys © Eric Gay Attorneys for Toys "R" Us argued in court papers that millions of dollars in bonuses would help encourage executives to focus on driving up sales as the holidays approach.

Under the plan, Toys “R” Us will pay 17 executives some $14 million in incentive bonuses, as long as the company hits its target of $550 million in earnings. It must hit a minimum of $484 million in adjusted earnings before any bonuses are awarded, as USA Today reported.

Attorneys for the company argued in court papers that the bonuses would help encourage executives to focus on driving up sales as the holidays approach.

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On Tuesday, a bankruptcy judge approved the proposal. Under the plan, Toys “ R ” Us will pay 17 executives some million in incentive bonuses , as long as the company hits its target of 0 million in earnings.

On Tuesday, a federal bankruptcy judge in Richmond approved the proposal. Under the plan, Toys R Us will pay 17 executives some million in incentive bonuses , as long as the company hits its target of 0 million in earnings.

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“Timing, of course, is everything,” they wrote in a Nov. 14 filing. “Now more than ever the senior management team must be properly motivated and incentivized to handle the panoply of responsibilities attendant to their two full-time jobs of leading the Debtors through this restructuring and, at the same time, implementing a worldwide strategy to increase sales following a near shutdown of operations just eight short weeks ago. The task at hand cannot be underestimated.”

But Judy Robbins, a Department of Justice attorney representing the interests of creditors, contended that the bonuses were excessive given the company’s financial situation.

“It defies logic and wisdom, not to mention the Bankruptcy Code, that a bankrupt company would now propose further multimillion dollar bonuses for the senior leadership of a company that began the year with employee layoffs and concludes it in the midst of the holiday season in bankruptcy,” she wrote.

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Bankruptcy judge approves M Toys R Us bonus payout. The judge overseeing the Toys R Us bankruptcy case ruled Tuesday that the insolvent retailer can pay its 17 top executives a total of million in incentive bonuses .

Toys “ R ” Us has asked the bankruptcy court for permission to pay million in bonuses to its top executives if the company is able to hit some financial targets during the upcoming holiday shopping season.

“Apparently, this Christmas, Toys ‘R’ Us intends to deliver not only ‘children their biggest smiles of the year’ but the insiders, too,” her Nov. 28 objection read. She added later that some executives already receive other perks, including personal drivers and private planes.

In court, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Keith Phillips noted that none of the company’s creditors or lenders had raised objections — a silence he said he found “particularly striking,” according to USA Today.

“On the contrary, I see the committee and any creditors who have addressed this court are asking the court to approve this plan and I think that’s telling,” he said. He gave the bonus plan the green light after a five-hour hearing in Richmond.

The company’s attorney, Joshua Sussberg, assured the judge that the company was “laser-focused on the holidays,” according to Reuters. There was still time, he said, to spur shoppers to “buy as much as they can.”

Sussberg also argued that the financial goals were challenging. “These are not layups,” he said, according to USA Today. “These are half-court, backwards, with a blindfold.”

Toys “R” Us, headquartered in Wayne, N.J., has 1,600 stores globally and about 64,000 emplooyes. It filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in September with plans to restructure $5 billion in long-term debt. It bought out one of its biggest competitors, FAO Schwarz, in 2006.

Sussberg, the company’s attorney, said the retailer hopes to ready a business plan by next July, and aimed to be out of bankruptcy by the 2018 holiday season.

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