Jun 6, 2018

Toys "R" Us could have been saved

Illustration: Sarah Grillo / Axios

We now have even more reason to blame senior secured lenders to Toys "R" Us for the retailer's epic shutdown, with Bloomberg reporting that buyout firm Sycamore Partners held advanced talks to buy the company and keep half of its U.S. stores in business:

"The retailer’s senior creditors calculated they would see a better return if the company were liquidated and its assets sold off."

Bottom line: This still doesn't excuse the many mistakes made by private equity firms Bain Capital and KKR . But thousands of jobs could have been saved if not for "B4 lender" intransigence.

It's something we've discussed before, and it's only reinforced by the Sycamore revelation.

  • Final inventory, per Bloomberg: "Almost every company asset—cash flows, property, inventory, equity in the international operations—was pledged to a lender, sometimes twice. Toys "R” Us had nothing left to promise."

Flashbacks: The Toys "R" Us blame game, and why it wasn't a total loss for Bain and KKR.

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JPMorgan Chase to pull support for some fossil fuels

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

JPMorgan Chase said Monday that it won’t directly finance new oil and gas development in the Arctic and will significantly curtail its financing of the extraction and burning of coal.

Why it matters: JPMorgan is the world’s largest funder of fossil-fuel companies, according to a report by the Rainforest Action Network (RAN). The announcement follows similar moves by other big banks and investment firms, including Goldman Sachs and BlackRock.

WHO won't call coronavirus a pandemic as cases spread

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The World Health Organization will not yet call the coronavirus a pandemic, claiming that needs across affected countries are too varied and the classification would increase fear, per a briefing Monday.

The big picture: As South Korea and Italy stepped up emergency measures in efforts to thwart the spread of the virus, WHO expressed concern about infections with no clear link to China. COVID-19 has killed at least 2,620 people and infected almost 80,000 others, with all but 27 deaths occurring in mainland China.

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