OPERATIONS

Aaron’s chairman to retire

BY Staff Writer

Atlanta — Aaron’s announced that R. Charles Loudemilk, Sr., chairman of the board of directors, will retire mid-September after founding and building Aaron’s, which in now in its 57th year of operation.

Upon his retirement, Loudermilk will become chairman emeritus of the company.

"I started Aaron’s in 1955 renting chairs for 10 cents a piece," Loudermilk said. "I never dreamed that Aaron’s would grow into a publicly traded company employing more than 11,000 people and serving millions of Americans. Though it was one of the most difficult decisions I have ever made, the time has come for me to leave the company and focus on personal endeavors that bring me joy.”

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SUPPLY CHAIN

Domino’s Pizza joins EPA SmartWay program

BY Marianne Wilson

Ann Arbor, Mich. — Domino’s Pizza announced that it joined the SmartWay Transport Partnership, a collaboration between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and industry that provides a framework to assess the environmental and energy efficiency of goods movement supply chains.

Domino’s Pizza will contribute to the Partnership’s savings of 1.5 billion gallons of fuel, $3.6 billion in fuel costs, 14.7 MMT of carbon dioxide, 215,000 tons of oxides of nitrogen and 8,000 tons of particulate matter.

"We are proud to participate with the EPA in support of working toward more environmentally efficient freight shipments," said Mary Long, Domino’s VP logistics and network planning. "It provides a great forum to share best practices and see what other SmartWay partners are doing to reduce fuel consumption."

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FINANCE

Best Buy and Schulze in due diligence deal

BY Marianne Wilson

Minneapolis — Best Buy Co. announced Monday that it has agreed to let founder and former chairman Richard Schulze conduct due diligence and form an investment group with private equity sponsors as he tries to take the retailer private.

Best Buy said its agreement with Schulze establishes a non-exclusive, orderly process that satisfies his requests and protects the interests of shareholders.

Schulze said he was pleased by the agreement, which follows more than a week of negotiations between the two parties. Schulze has proposed buying the company for up to $8.8 billion. But Best Buy has been cautious, and has emphasized a turnaround effort that will be led by its newly announced incoming CEO, Hubert Joly.

Under the terms of the arrangement, Schulze will get access to non-public information and can propose a fully financed bid within 60 days after the due diligence period begins. In certain circumstances, the period may be extended.

The agreement also calls for the waiver of a Minnesota law in order to allow Schulze to work with private equity partners.

Should a transaction be proposed and the board rejects it, Schulze has agreed not to pursue an acquisition until January 2013.

Best Buy is offering Schulze two seats on Best Buy’s board, though he cannot hold onto them if he takes an offer directly to shareholders or if he violates his agreement.

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