Oriental Trading's Chapter 11 Filing is 14th Retail Bankruptcy in 2010

In another sign of the continuing difficulties faced by retailers in the recession's aftermath, Oriental Trading Company, an online and catalog retailer offering value-priced party supplies, arts and crafts, toys, novelties and school supplies, has filed for Chapter 11 protection, the 14th retailer to do so this year. A statement on the retailer's web site says the company plans to maintain business as usual during its reorganization process.

If as is widely expected Blockbuster goes ahead with its Chapter 11 filing this month, the DVD rental chain will be the 15th retailer to declare bankruptcy in 2010, joining Movie Gallery, Jennifer Convertibles, and several others.

Oriental Trading, which operates the e-commerce sites OrientalTrading.com and TerrysVillage.com, has consolidated assets of $463 million for the fiscal year that ended April 3, 2010 and liabilities totaling $756.6 million, with annual net sales of $485.4 million, according to published reports.

If the reorganization plan is accepted, the company will reduce its funded debt by more than 70% to $200 million. First-lien lenders who are owed $403.6 million would receive new stock and a new $200 million second-lien note. Debtors include Google Inc., UPS, Federal Express Corp., Yahoo Search Marketing and Microsoft Corp., according to the bankruptcy filing.

Oriental Trading was founded in 1932 as a wholesaler, and moved into catalogs in the 1970s and online sales in the 1990s. The Omaha, NE based company employs 3,000 people in the area. It is owned by The Carlyle Group, a global private equity firm; Brentwood Associates, another such firm, owns a significant minority stake.

For related content see: Blockbuster Edges Closer to Bankruptcy Filing
Bankruptcy Watch: Eight Retailers in the Red
10 Bankruptcies That Rocked Retailing in 2010
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