99 Cents Only Stakeholder Demands Info
New York City For the second time in a month, 99 Cents Only stakeholder Akre Capital Management has demanded additional details regarding the discount chain’s turnaround plans, according to a regulatory filing on Monday.
Akre, which beneficially owns about 9.4 million shares, or a 13.4% stake, sent a letter to 99 Cents Only last month, criticizing its current strategy to stay in Texas, open new stores and retain excess cash.
According to the latest filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Akre spoke with management last week regarding the letter it sent to the board in January. Akre said it sent a follow-up letter “to provide additional detail and clarifications so that management and the board can better understand our requests and can respond appropriately.”
Akre again called for management to provide “concrete data and sound financial logic” to explain the rationale behind its current strategy.
By responding to Akre’s requests, 99 Cents Only Stores will be able to re-establish credibility and demonstrate to shareholders how it plans to manage assets and build value, Akre said. A representative for the company was not immediately available for comment.
Amazon Europe to invest in LOVEFiLM
LUXEMBOURG Amazon.com and LOVEFiLM International, a DVD online rental subscription service in the United Kingdon, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Germany, have entered into an agreement under which LOVEFiLM will acquire Amazon Europe’s DVD rental business in the United Kingdom and Germany.
As part of the agreement, Amazon Europe will also become the largest shareholder in LOVEFiLM International through a cash investment.
The companies reported that once the deal is complete, the LOVEFiLM subscriber base will total over 900,000 customers predominantly in the United Kingdom and Germany, but also in the Nordics (Sweden, Norway, and Denmark).
“As one of Europe’s largest online DVD rental businesses, LOVEFiLM is well established to serve customers’ increasing demand for entertainment,” said Greg Greeley, Amazon’s vp of European retail. “Our investment will enable LOVEFiLM to grow the business further and we are excited to be part of their future.”
Amazon Europe will continue to operate the DVD rental business on behalf of LOVEFiLM for a period of time following the close of the transaction to ensure an efficient transition and smooth customer experience. No staff reductions are planned at Amazon’s German or United Kingdom operations as a result of the business transfer.
Aldi to open new Fla. DC, HQ
HAINES CITY, Fla. Aldi last week reported that it has broken ground on a new Florida headquarters and distribution center. The facilities will support 25 new stores opening in central Florida in fall 2008 and employ about 100 people, Aldi said.
“We’re looking forward to becoming a part of the central Florida community and bringing great food and good jobs to the area,” said David Behm, Aldi division vp. “Grocery customers can expect a bill up to 50% less than anywhere they shop now, and employees can expect a great working environment with well-paying jobs. We’re excited to bring these benefits to the area as we continue our expansion all along the East Coast.”
According to Aldi, the $40 million, 500,000-square-foot distribution center will service stores in the Tampa, St. Petersburg and Orlando areas that will begin opening in September.