FINANCE

Alliance Data to provide customized card programs for Meijer

BY Dan Berthiaume

Dallas – The Retail Services business of Alliance Data Systems Corp. has signed a multi-year agreement to provide co-brand and private label credit card services for Meijer. Alliance Data will provide credit card marketing services for the Meijer store-branded credit card and the Meijer Platinum MasterCard, which will offer card members the opportunity to accrue Meijer Rewards points for every dollar spent at Meijer, Meijer gas stations and Meijer.com, as well as on all other purchases made with the card.

The accrued points allow customers to earn certificates for discounts on future Meijer purchases. Alliance Data will also work with Meijer to enhance program features designed to recognize and reward card members, and will leverage its loyalty and mobile marketing capabilities to further support one-to-one customer engagement and increase value to card members.

In addition, Alliance Data signed an agreement to acquire Meijer’s existing portfolio of co-brand and private label credit card accounts. Details of the purchase price will not be disclosed. The transaction is scheduled to close before the end of 2014, subject to customary closing conditions.

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FINANCE

Lowe’s to sell $1.25 billion of notes

BY Dan Berthiaume

Mooresville, N.C. – Lowe’s Companies Inc. has agreed to sell $450 million of floating rate notes due 2019, $450 million of 3.125% notes due 2024 and $350 million of 4.250% notes due 2044. Estimated net proceeds from this offering will be approximately $1.24 billion, after deducting offering expenses and underwriters’ discounts.

Lowe’s intends to use the net proceeds from the sale of the Notes for general corporate purposes. Closing is expected to occur on Sept. 10, 2014. Goldman, Sachs & Co., U.S. Bancorp Investments, Inc. and Wells Fargo Securities, LLC are acting as joint book-running managers for the notes offering.

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FINANCE

Home Depot breach may have been widespread

BY Dan Berthiaume

Atlanta – The alleged security breach that recently hit The Home Depot Inc. may have compromised credit and debit card data at nearly all of the company’s stores. According to the security website Krebsonsecurity.com, the unique ZIP codes of a large batch of new cards listed for sale on underground hacker sites shows a more than 99% overlap with nearby Home Depot stores, suggesting a widespread breach.

In addition, at least four banks have started tracing stolen card numbers listed for sale back to Home Depot transactions. Although Home Depot has not confirmed that a breach occurred, the retailer is working with security firms Symantec and FishNet Security to investigate if one occurred, the Associated Press reported.

"Our forensics and security teams have been working around the clock since we first became aware of a potential breach Tuesday morning," said Home Depot spokesperson Paula Drake, in a statement. “There is no higher priority at this time than to rapidly gather the facts so that we can provide answers to our customers. We know these types of incidents can cause frustration and concern and we apologize for that."

Home Depot on Wednesday told customers that they will not be held responsible for any possible fraudulent charges if a breach occurred.

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