August 26, 2010, 2:44 PM

Oriental Trading files for bankruptcy

Oriental Trading Co. Inc. is seeking Chapter 11 protection to reorganize debt.

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Oriental Trading Co. Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection yesterday in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.

The company, which generated Internet Retailer-estimated web sales of $305 million in 2009 and started selling online in 1999, listed estimated company assets of between $100 million and $500 million and estimated liabilities of between $500 million and $1 billion.

Oriental Trading is No. 57 in Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.

 

 

Oriental Trading, which operates such e-commerce sites as OrientalTrading.com and TerrysVillage.com, didn’t list specific totals of its assets and debts. But the court filing does reveal that Oriental Trading owes significant amounts to its lenders and several key e-commerce and delivery companies.

Oriental Trading accumulated loans of approximately $271.5 million and owes vendors such as Google Inc. and UPS Inc. $1.7 million and $706,253, respectively, according to the claims of creditors in the bankruptcy filing. Other claims cite debts including $445,035 owed to Federal Express Corp., $193,882 to Yahoo Search Marketing and $187,841 to Microsoft Corp.

The company says it has reached agreement with its first lien holders on the terms of a pre-arranged reorganization plan to significantly reduce debt and improve its capital structure and operating flexibility.

Under the reorganization plan, Oriental Trading will reduce its funded debt by more than 70% to $200 million. In addition, Oriental Trading has obtained debtor-in-possession financing of $40 million from a group of its existing lenders, which will provide sufficient funds to operate its business during the restructuring process, the company says.

“We have been in active discussions with our lenders and have reached an agreement that will bring our capital structure in line with the current economic environment and the needs of the business,” says Oriental Trader CEO Sam Taylor. “We are pleased with the ongoing support we have received from our lenders and believe this process will lead to a sustainable, long-term financial foundation for the company. Oriental Trading is a profitable company with a strong underlying business model and continues to generate double-digit operating margins.”

Oriental Trading has employed two law firms—Debevoise & Plimpton LLP and Young, Conaway, Stargatt & Taylor—and several other service firms to work with the company while it is in Chapter 11. The company has retained Jefferies & Co. to provide financial advisory and investment banking services. Protiviti Inc. will provide consulting work on restructuring, Oriental says in its Chapter 11 filing.

Founded in 1932, Oriental Trading is a retailer and wholesaler of value-priced party supplies, arts and crafts, toys and novelties, school supplies, home décor and giftware. The company is owned by The Carlyle Group, a global private-equity firm. Another private-equity firm, Brentwood Associates, owns a significant minority ownership stake, Oriental Trading says.

 

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