"Every Toys "R" Us worker is leaving with zero, and Bain Capital is leaving with $475 million in profits," said Forbes, citing a report by Bloomberg that the private-equity owners -- KKR (KKR), Bain Capital and Vornado Realty Trust (VNO) -- had collected more than $470 million in fees and interest payments from Toys "R" Us during the past few years.
The Center for Popular Democracy and the Organization United for Respect point to Securities and Exchange filings in noting that Toys "R" Us paid $91 million in severance between 2008 to 2016 while being run by the private-equity firms, which took control of the retailer in a leveraged buyout in 2005.
"Because we were forced to liquidate the U.S. business, we were not able to follow the normal severance process," said a Toys "R" Us spokesperson earlier this month. "In lieu of this payment, we were able to provide a minimum of 60 days notice to help employees begin their transitions." At the same time, KKR declined comment, while the other two financial firms did not respond to requests for comment.