Dutch toy chain Intertoys has been saved from collapse by Green Swan, the Portuguese investment group that last year acquired Toys R Us Iberia.
The acquisition follows a turbulent few months for Intertoy, which called in administrators early last month and successfully applied for a reprieve from debt obligations through payment protection. Just weeks later, administrators Jasper Berkenbosch of Jones Day and Joris Lensink of De Vos & Partners scrambled to restructure the company after it was declared insolvent by the Amsterdam District Court.
The new owner says it aims to keep as many stores open as possible, though more than a third of its 286-location fleet will vanish by summer, putting thousands of jobs on the line. Green Swan estimates around 1000 to 1500 staff will keep their jobs, including the senior management team who are to be kept in place to ‘restart’ the business.
Green Swan chief executive Paulo Andrez says the group is excited to “welcome Intertoys to the Green Swan family”.
“We are highly motivated to bring our approach and strategic focus on innovation to the restart of a brand that so many families love,” he adds.
“We’ll partner with all those involved with Intertoys – clients, employees and franchisees – to add value through the innovation and evolution we’re bringing to the European toy market. Together with our toy brands in other European countries… We are succeeding in revitalising a turbulent toy market.”
Intertoys CEO Roland Armbruster said recently that sales had been cut in half over the past 10 years, hit by surges in online retail and the snowballing impact of discount retailers.
This is the latest in a string of high-profile purchases for Green Swan, which has made a habit of swooping in to save ailing toy retailers across Europe. The spree began last summer when it picked up Toys R Us’ interests in Spain and Portugal, following up earlier this year with the acquisition of Maxi Toys, a major chain in France, Belgium, Switzerland and Luxembourg, from Blokker Holding after it ran into trouble in January.
Intertoys stores earmarked for closure began closing down sales on 9 March and will be gone by mid-May at the latest.