January 19, 2001, 12:00 AM

Toysmart shut Down Amid B2B Bid

Don Davis

Editor in Chief

Toysmart.com says its Friday closing occurred when a planned switch to business-to-business operations failed to attract financing. "In the past month, the company had been involved in an aggressive effort to reorganize its business and focus on programs that would best meet the needs of its investors, shareholders, and partners," CEO David Lord said in a statement. "While a plan to fund the company's activities as a business-to-business operation was actively underway, negotiations collapsed at the last minute."

Toysmart, which is majority owned by the Walt Disney Co., has hired the Recovery Group of Boston to help sell the business and its assets. The site, closed over the weekend, was live again this morning, though not accepting orders. A statement advised customers that orders placed before May 19 would be fulfilled.

The company's 170 employees, based at its headquarters, retail store and distribution center in the Boston area, were notified of the closing on Friday.

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