Irwin Toy in bankruptcy protection; slashes workforce

From CBC News:

TORONTO - Venerable toy maker Irwin Toy Ltd. has obtained bankruptcy protection from its creditors and is cutting almost half its staff as part of a major restructuring, the company announced Monday.

Irwin said it was granted an order by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act. The busines is also seeking protection from creditors in the United States.

Irwin said it was laying off 135 of its 308 employees and was talking to potential buyers with a view to selling the company before Christmas.

Irwin executives said the company missed key shipping dates to U.S. customers this summer because they weren’t able to churn out enough product and lost $16 million US in sales because of that.

“We are taking this course of action to allow the company to address its challenges and protect the interests of our employees and creditors,” Jean-Rene Halde, the president and CEO of Irwin said.

“There have already been serious expressions of interest by parties interested in purchasing segments of Irwin’s business. If consummated, these sales could form the basis of a company restructuring or a sale of advantage to creditors and will hopefully result in saving as many jobs as possible,” Halde said.

“Unfortunately, the changes being announced today have resulted in many of our employees leaving the company. While this was a necessary business decision, I deeply regret its effect on employees, especially at this time of year,” he added.

Irwin Toy was taken private in March 2001 by Livgroup, a privately-held company owned by Richard Ivey and Halde., in an all-cash deal worth $55 million.

Founded in 1926, Irwin makes and distributes such children’s toys as Slinky, Etch-a-Sketch, Caillou and Dragon Ball Z .

I’m going to keep my comments to a minimum until I can learn a bit more on my own. Thanks to Cybercollector from the boards for posting the story there.
Posted by Jess Horsley on December 3, 2002 01:00 AM


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