OPERATIONS

Aaron’s names new VP of franchising

BY Dan Berthiaume

Atlanta – Michael P. Ryan, operational VP of Aaron’s Inc., has been named VP of franchising. Todd Evans, current VP of franchising, will be leaving Aaron’s to pursue other opportunities.

Henri Rogers, senior regional manager for Aaron’s Three Rivers region, will succeed Ryan as divisional VP of northern operations.

"I’m very pleased that Michael, one of our most successful and talented operational VPs, has accepted the leadership reigns and will now serve as VP of franchising," said David L. Buck, Aaron’s COO. "Michael’s background is deeply rooted in operations and we are confident that his experience will bring immediate value and support to the franchisees and continued expansion of our franchise operations."

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FINANCE

Men’s Wearhouse, Jos. A. Bank talking; sign non-disclosure agreement

BY Dan Berthiaume

Fremont, Calif. — Men’s Wearhouse Inc. and Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc. may be inching closer to a deal. Men’s Wearhouse announced that it had reached a nondisclosure agreement with its rival, setting up talks that could lead to a merger of the two retailers. The two firms announced they are exchanging certain confidential information with each other and working in good faith to evaluate a potential combination.

As part of the agreement, Jos. A. Bank submitted a draft of a merger agreement to Men’s Wearhouse.

As previously reported, Men’s Wearhouse is prepared to increase its offer price from $63.50 per share, or $1.6 billion, to $65 per share, or $1.78 billion, if Jos. A. Bank can demonstrate or Men’s Wearhouse can discover additional value through discussions or limited due diligence. Men’s Wearhouse’s cash tender offer to acquire all outstanding shares of Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc. for $63.50 per share is scheduled to expire at on Wednesday, March 12, 2014, unless the offer is extended. Consummation of the offer is not conditioned upon any financing arrangements or subject to a financing condition.

Men’s Wearhouse noted that there can be no assurance that a transaction will result from the discussions with Jos. A. Bank. BofA Merrill Lynch and J.P. Morgan Securities LLC are serving as financial advisors to Men’s Wearhouse, and Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP is serving as legal advisor.

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REAL ESTATE

Inland REIT acquires Park Avenue Center in Little Rock, Ark.

BY Michael Fickes

Oak Brook, Ill. Inland Real Estate Income Trust has acquired the 69,381-sq.-ft. Park Avenue Shopping Center in Little Rock, Ark., for $28.12 million. IREIT Business Manager & Advisor assisted Inland Real Estate Acquisitions in the transaction. Disney Investment Group represented the seller, SPC Park Avenue Limited Partnership and SPC Condo Limited Partnership. Both are affiliates of Strode Property Co.

Well situated at a major intersection, Park Avenue Shopping Center is about five miles west of downtown Little Rock and directly across the street from a major area hospital. The property consists of three single-tenant buildings, three multi-tenant buildings and a two-level parking structure. The center also has the right to expand one of the three buildings by up to 9,500 sq. ft., which would increase the retail space to over 78,000 sq. ft.

Park Avenue Shopping Center is 95% leased. Tenants include Staples, Cheddar’s Casual Café, Newk’s Eatery, Panera Bread, Verizon Wireless and Mattress Firm. The property is shadow-anchored by a Target “P Fresh” store, Target’s new and successful grocery-focused store format, and an LA Fitness, neither of which was acquired.

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