Toys ‘R’ Us Inc, the largest U.S. toy store chain, filed for bankruptcy protection late Monday, the latest sign of turmoil in the retail industry that is caught in a viselike grip of online shopping and discount chains.
The Chapter 11 filing is among the largest ever by a speciality retailer and casts doubt over the future of its about 1,600 stores and 64,000 employees. It comes just as Toys ‘R’ Us is gearing up for the holiday shopping season, which accounts for the bulk of its sales.
“While today’s decision does not necessarily mean it is game over for Toys ‘R’ Us, it brings to a close a turbulent chapter in the iconic company’s history,” said Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData Retail.
Toys ‘R’ Us received a commitment for over $3 billion in debtor-in-possession financing from lenders including a JPMorgan-led bank syndicate and certain existing lenders, said the Wayne, New Jersey-based company, which also operates the Babies ‘R’ Us chain.
The financing, subject to court approval, reassures its suppliers they will get paid for their Lego building blocks and Barbie dolls that are being shipped for the holiday season.
By Tom Hals and Subrat Patnaik
German drugs and pesticides maker Bayer (DE:BAYGn) said it would likely take until early next year to complete the planned $66 billion takeover of U.S. seeds group Monsanto (N:MON), which it had previously expected to be under wraps by the end of 2017.
The European Commission has been scrutinizing the takeover with a deadline of Jan. 8. Bayer said in a statement it had asked the regulator for an extension to Jan. 22.
The Commission last month started an in-depth investigation of the takeover, saying it was worried about competition in various pesticide and seeds markets.
German economic sentiment rose much more than expected in September, bolstering optimism over the motor of the euro zone economy, industry data showed on Tuesday.
In a report, the ZEW Centre for Economic Research said that its index of German economic sentiment rose to 17.0 this month from August’s reading of 10.0. Analysts had expected the index to increase to just 12.5 in September.
On the index, a level above 0.0 indicates optimism, a level below 0.0 indicates pessimism.
The Current Conditions Index also unexpectedly rose to 87.9 this month from 86.7 in August. That compared to expectations for a slight drop to 86.6.
The Swiss franc fell to its lowest level in over two years against the euro on Tuesday, as relative calm over North Korea eased demand for perceived safe-haven currencies.
The franc, which tends to gain in times of crisis, fell as much as half a percent to 1.1565 francs per euro in London trade (EURCHF=). That was its lowest level since Jan. 15, 2015, when the Swiss central bank dropped the franc’s “cap” against the euro.
In a move only punctuated by short-lived spikes on geopolitical tensions, the Swiss currency has weakened more than 8 percent against the euro this year.
By Ritvik Carvalho