Five Australian toy businesses have formed an alliance in the wake of University Co-op Bookshop – which operates the Curious Planet stores – entering voluntary administration.
Heebie Jeebies, Science and Nature, Johnco, Axis Toys and Bobangles formed the alliance with three key motivations in mind.
1. To see Curious Planet continue to trade and to settle outstanding debt and confirmed forecast commitments in a non-bias approach going forward in the short term.
2. To see a key industry retail chain remain in operation in the long term through a better communication model.
3. To see the industry body – the Australian Toy Association – step up and support its members and affected parties through due dilligence and regular reporting procedures.
At the first meeting of creditors, a committee was formed and the alliance's representative, Science and Nature MD Nigel Kirby was appointed on behalf of the alliance.
The administrators will continue to trade the business through the Christmas period while simulatenously seeking a sale and undertaking investigations. At the second meeting of creditors – which if granted an extension will occur in March 2020 – administrators will present creditors with the options for the future of the business.
The options include returning the entity to the control of its directors if it is found to be solvent, or entering into a Deed of Company Arrangement (DOCA) if one is proposed, or entering liquidation if no DOCA is proposed (or if a liquidation is expected to give a better outcome than the proposed DOCA).
A summary of the outcomes of the first meeting of creditors can be found here.