Aug 22, 2018

Toys "R" Us workers ratchet up the payment pressure

Photo by Matthew Horwood/Getty Images

The fight to get severance for thousands of fired Toys "R" Us workers has moved on to a new phase: Attacking the creditors.

Talks continue with buyout firms Bain Capital and KKR, which owned Toys "R" Us prior to its bankruptcy. Expectations remain that they'll contribute substantially to what could ultimately be a $75 million pot, although what I had been told would be an August announcement is now being referred to as a September announcement.

  • The workers group also contacted the creditors who chose liquidation over keeping Toys open with a smaller footprint. So far it has spoken with B-4 lenders like Solus, Angelo Gordon and Oaktree, but hasn't gotten any commitments.
  • To further pressure the creditors, the workers group is lobbying its public pension limited partners. For example, Toys workers either testified or made their presence known at recent meetings of Texas Teachers, Oregon Investment Council and Ohio Teachers. There also has been communication with officials in New Jersey, the former home of Toys' headquarters and a state that invests in at least on of the B-4 lenders.

The bottom line: When a general partner basically ignores you, going to its limited partners is usually an effective method for getting their attention.

Go deeper

Axios Dashboard

Keep up with breaking news throughout the day — sign up for our alerts.

Energy deputy secretary nominee in hot water after contradicting Trump

Mark Menezes speaks at a forum in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, June 12. Photo: Minasse Wondimu Hailu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Trump administration officials are internally raising concerns about President Trump’s nominee for Energy deputy secretary, who appeared to openly contradict the president on nuclear waste storage at Nevada’s Yucca Mountain last week.

Driving the news: While speaking at a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing last Wednesday, Mark Menezes told members of the panel that the Trump administration is still interested in storing nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain and that “what we're trying to do is to put together a process that will give us a path to permanent storage at Yucca."

Exclusive: Pompeo says new China media restrictions "long overdue"

Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The State Department announced Tuesday that it has designated five Chinese state media outlets as "foreign missions," meaning that they will be treated as arms of the Chinese government.

Driving the news: In his first public statement on the new designation, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tells Axios that the five outlets are "clearly controlled by the [Chinese Communist Party], and we are simply recognizing that fact by taking this action.”

Go deeperArrow2 hours ago - World