American Express launches ‘pay-by-tweet’ venture
New York — American Express has launched a new venture with Twitter, that could lead to a whole new category of shopping.
The partnership enables American Express cardmembers to sync eligible cards with Twitter, giving them the ability to use special #hashtags to buy American Express Gift Cards and products from Amazon, Sony, Urban Zen and Xbox 360. American Express’ proprietary Card Sync technology powers the experience. Card Sync first launched on Twitter last March to deliver couponless savings to Cardmembers who tweet special offer #hashtags from merchants.
The $25 American Express Gift Card can be purchased using a synced American Express Card starting today for only $15 by tweeting #BuyAmexGiftCard25 (quantities limited, offer expires 3/3/13, limit one per Cardmember). The remaining catalog of products goes on sale Wednesday, Feb. 13 at noon, EST, when the full list of special product #hashtags will be released and highlighted as "favorites" on the @AmericanExpress Twitter page. Cardmembers can sync their Cards in advance by visiting sync.americanexpress.com/twitter.
"Based on the initial success of Amex Sync for offers, we know there is significant power in combining our assets with Twitter’s platform to bring value to Cardmembers and merchants," said Leslie Berland, SVP digital partnerships and development at American Express. "Now, we’re leveraging our unique technology and closed-loop network to introduce a seamless solution that redefines what’s possible in the world of social commerce."
OfficeMax gets $129M in proceeds from investment
Naperville, Ill. — OfficeMax has received approximately $129 million in cash proceeds related to its October 2004 investment in Boise Cascade Holdings, LLC. Since 2004, OfficeMax has held two classes of securities in BCH, non-voting equity securities ("Series A Units") and voting equity securities ("Series B Units").
BCH will redeem all of the Series A Units held by OfficeMax for $112 million, equal to the original investment amount of $66 million plus $46 million of total accrued dividends. As previously disclosed, OfficeMax had been recording income earned from the 8% annual dividend yield on the Series A Units as a reduction of operating, selling and general and administrative expenses in its Corporate & Other segment. This dividend income ceased upon completion of the redemption of the Series A Units on Feb. 12.
OfficeMax also continues to hold a 20.4% ownership interest in the Series B Units of BCH, which do not accrue any dividend. OfficeMax has accounted for the Series B Units under the cost method as a $109 million investment on its consolidated balance sheet since October 2004. BCH has declared a distribution of approximately $85 million payable on Feb. 12 to the holders of its Series B Units, of which OfficeMax’s share of proceeds is approximately $17 million. This distribution on the Series B Units will be recognized as income by OfficeMax and will not reduce the $109 million investment amount.
Ravi Saligram, president and CEO of OfficeMax said, "We’re very pleased to have monetized a portion of this non-core Boise asset. Together with the removal of the Lehman-backed timber notes and reducing the unfunded pension liability, we have made great strides in optimizing our balance sheet over the past several months. We are considering the best way to utilize these proceeds to maximize shareholder value."
Following the redemption of the Series A Units and the distribution on the Series B Units, BCH will continue to hold approximately $28 million of cash and own 29,700,000 common shares of Boise Cascade Company (BCC), which completed its initial public stock offering today.
Bruce Besanko, EVP, CFO and chief administrative officer of OfficeMax said, "Following the receipt of these proceeds, we’ll retain our BCH Series B Units which represent an indirect ownership interest of approximately 6 million shares or approximately 14% of the common equity of Boise Cascade Company."
OfficeMax has carried a $180 million deferred book gain on its consolidated balance sheet related to its investment in BCH in October 2004. The redemption of the Series A Units is expected to trigger recognition of a pre-tax operating gain of approximately $68 million representing the portion of the deferred gain attributable to the Series A Units. The remaining $112 million of deferred gain attributable to the Series B Units will remain on OfficeMax’s consolidated balance sheet until such time as the Series B Units are sold or redeemed. OfficeMax does not expect it will be required to pay any cash taxes as a result of the redemption of the Series A Units and the distribution on the Series B Units.
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A&G Realty to manage Bakers Footwear liquidation
New York — A&G Realty Partners said Tuesday it has been retained by Bakers Footwear Group Inc. to handle the liquidation of its remaining 56 mall stores.
According to A&G, an auction for the store leases is slated for Feb. 18, with a deadline to submit bids to A&G Realty by Feb. 21.
“Bakers’ real estate has begun to create interest among various shoe retailers, particularly those interested in access to premier locations in some of the top malls in the country,” said Michael Jerbich, a partner at A&G Realty Partners, who is managing the court-supervised sale process.
Bakers Footwear Group, based in St. Louis, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in October 2012; prior to its bankruptcy, the chain operated 236 Bakers and Wild Pair shoe stores in 37 states.
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