Struggling retailer Toys R Us is facing an uncertain future as its US parent company is looking for a buyer for its British business following an unsuccessful Christmas trading period.
The new search comes just weeks after the UK business was saved from collapse after reaching an agreement with Pension Protection Fund (PPF), a key creditor to the company, which agreed to a restructuring plan that would secure around 2,500 jobs.
The deal was intended to give Toys R Us UK time to restructure its finances, closing around 30 loss-making stores and securing rent reductions across the rest of its estate.
Hundreds of jobs were also expected to be cut, which could now amount to another 2,400 jobs previously secured by the Christmas Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) deal if the sale process doesn’t go as planned.
PPF agreed to the CVA after the retailer committed to paying around £10m into its pension scheme over the next three years.
The plan was to turn existing locations into smaller interactive stores as well as relaunching the Toys R Us UK website.
It is unclear whether a new owner would commit to this deal.
“The US business is exploring a number of options as it develops plans to exit Chapter 11,” a Toys R Us UK spokesman told Sky News.
“These conversations are confidential but I can assure you that they are acting in the best interests of employees, business partners, shareholders and lenders.”
Last month Toys R Us launched a closing down sale with up to 30% off in 25 stores in a bid to shift stock as it planned to close a quarter of its shops after hitting financial trouble.
The toys retailer filed for bankruptcy in the US and Canada in September 2017, promising that seeking Chapter 11 protection from the US Bankruptcy court would have no negative impact on the UK business.