Bain and KKR establish a severance fund for Toys R Us workers

KKR and Bain Capital, the private equity firms that owned Toys R Us before the company declared bankruptcy earlier this year, said Tuesday that they have each pledged $10 million to create the TRU Financial Assistance Fund, which aims to distribute severance funds to former employees.

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Shortly after Toys R Us announced it was going out of business, employees across the country banded together to protest for severance payments in Washington, D.C., and New York, and even lobbied in front of Congress and the firm’s investors. In September, the firms and the ex-employees agreed to the deal.

Now, ex-employees are focusing their attention on hedge funds Solus Alternative Asset Management and Angelo Gordon & Co. that were behind the decision to liquidate the company.

Kenneth Feinberg and Camille Biros have been appointed by Bain and KKR to be the independent administrators of the fund, according to a joint release from the firms. In the past, the two have assisted in distributing funds to various groups, including compensation to victims of the 9/11 attacks.

“We have designed a transparent, straight-forward, and simple process that should provide some financial relief to eligible former employees,” Biros said in a statement. “Next, we want to hear from those former employees affected by the unexpected liquidation.”

There will be a two-week period for all interested parties to comment on the terms and conditions of the plan. These comments will be evaluated by both Feinberg and Biros. After outlining the final terms and conditions, the claims process is expected to begin Dec. 15 and the aim is to complete payments by April 30, 2019.

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