Alliance Boots acquires Chinese drug wholesaler stake
Zug, Switzerland — Swiss drugstore chain Alliance Boots said Monday it has acquired a 12% stake in Chinese pharmaceutical wholesaler Nanjing Pharmaceutical Co. for $88.5 million.
The deal follows Walgreen Co.’s $7 billion investment in Alliance Boots in a move to expand into China.
Alliance Boots runs the largest drugstore chain in the United Kingdom.
Walgreen’s initial plan is to acquire about 45% of Alliance Boots with an option to buy the rest of the company in three years.
Former Best Buy CEO joins video insights firm
Brad Anderson was named to the board of LightHaus, a provider of shopper insights based on video analytics.
Anderson spent 36 years at Best Buy before retiring in 2009 as CEO and vice chairman. He joins LightHaus as the company is looking for broader usage of its Visual Customer Intelligence solution which uses information gathered from in-store video cameras to measure customer traffic and evaluate customer browsing and shopping behaviors and trends. According to the company, its solution generates reliable data and business analytics that retailers use to increase sales conversion rates and improve the operational and financial performance of their individual stores and overall businesses.
"Understanding the customer is more important than ever before in the brick-and-mortar retail environment," Anderson said. "Companies are seeking ways to use ‘big data’ and business analytics to enhance the in-store customer experience so that more and more store visitors make purchases. LightHaus offers a compelling solution that enables retailers to better capture consumers’ shopping motivations at the most critical opportunity – when they are shopping inside the stores."
According to LightHaus president and CEO Ross Mitchell, Anderson is recognized as a luminary and entrepreneurial innovator in the retail industry.
"His extensive understanding of how to use customer intelligence to drive in-store revenues will help guide LightHaus Visual Customer Intelligence strategies for leading retail customers," Mitchell said.
In addition to his role at LightHaus, Anderson serves on the boards of Carlson Companies, General Mills and Waste Management. He is also active on the boards of several nonprofit organizations, including the Mayo Clinic, Minnesota Public Radio, and the National Council of the American Film Institute. He is a charter member of the Job Creators Alliance and represents the organization on radio and television.
Eddie Bauer names new COO and CFO
Former VF Outdoor CFO Dan Templin has joined Eddie Bauer as COO and CFO.
With the addition of Templin, current Eddie Bauer CFO Marv Toland was named to the newly created role of SVP of direct with responsibility for the brand’s e-commerce and catalog businesses.
Eddie Bauer CEO Mike Egeck characterized Templin as a seasoned outdoor industry executive whose responsibilities at VF Outdoor, with leading brands such as The North Face, Vans, JanSport and Timberland, will benefit Eddie Bauer.
"Dan is a very accomplished executive with a consistent track record of success," Egeck said. "He brings depth and breadth of expertise in process, finance, operations and retail. Dan’s particular work in the outerwear industry, including his role as president of the Outdoor Industry Association aligns perfectly with our vision for Eddie Bauer. We look forward to his leadership and contribution as we take this iconic brand to its next phase of growth.
Templin spent 30 years in the retail industry, the last 12 of which have been focused on active outdoor apparel and footwear. As part of the VF Corporation, Templin was a key leader in growing revenue at VF’s outdoor coalition from $300 million 2000 to $2.6 billion in 2011.
"I’m very excited to join the Eddie Bauer team. This is a brand that has a deep outdoor heritage and a very bright future for exceptional sales and profit growth," Templin said.
As for the reassignment of former CFO Toland, Egeck said, "Marv’s institutional knowledge of the Eddie Bauer brand combined with his personal passion for our direct business make him an ideal choice to lead our most rapidly growing business segment."
Eddie Bauer was purchased in 2009 in an all-cash transaction by Golden Gate Capital, a San Francisco-based private equity firm with more than $12 billion under management and a leading investor in specialty retailing. Among the firm’s other investment are Coldwater Creek, Pacific Sunwear, California Pizza Kitchen, J.Jill, Express, Zales, Romano’s Macaroni Grill, On the Border Mexican Grill and Cantina and a pending deal involving Payless ShoeSource.