FINANCE

Barnes & Noble announces Hart-Scott-Rodino approval of Liberty Media investment

BY Staff Writer

New York City — Barnes & Noble said Tuesday that the FTC has granted early termination of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act, allowing investor Liberty Media to move forward with its stock purchase in the bookseller.

Barnes & Noble announced on Aug. 18 that Liberty Media invested an aggregate of $204 million in the company through the purchase of newly issued convertible preferred stock, totaling a 16.6% interest in Barnes and Noble.

Under the terms of the investment, Liberty has elected two nominees to Barnes & Noble’s board of directors. Barnes & Noble will expand its board to eleven members to include Gregory B. Maffei, Liberty Media’s president and CEO, and Mark D. Carleton, senior VP of Liberty.

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FINANCE

AutoZone Q4 profit up 12%

BY Staff Writer

Memphis — AutoZone reported Tuesday that profit for the quarter ended Aug. 27 rose 12% to $301.5 million, compared with $268.9 million in the year-ago period.

Sales rose 8.1% to $2.64 billion from $2.45 billion, topping Wall Street expectations of $2.61 billion in sales. Same-store sales in the U.S. rose 4.5%.

During the quarter, AutoZone opened 68 new stores, replaced five stores, and closed one store in the United States and opened 18 new stores in Mexico.

For the full fiscal year, AutoZone earned $849 million, compared with $738.3 million last year. Sales rose to $8.07 billion from $7.36 billion.

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OPERATIONS

Collective Brands forges new distribution agreements

BY Staff Writer

Lexington, Mass. — Collective Brands’ Performance + Lifestyle Group, which owns Sperry Top-Sider, Keds and Stride Rite, has signed new distribution agreements with partners to ramp up international expansion in several markets, including Japan, Singapore, Malaysia and Spain.

Through an agreement with ABC-Mart, Tokyo, the Saucony and Sperry Top-Sider brands will be reintroduced across the Japan market. For the Singapore and Malaysia markets, the company has inked a distribution deal with RSH Limited, Singapore, for the Sperry Top-Sider, Keds and Saucony brands in both countries.

Through a new distribution deal with Sefonia Yourself SA, Barcelona, which also currently holds the Sperry Top-Sider distribution agreement and has been managing the introduction of Sperry in Spain for the past year, the Keds brand will be re-introduced in Spain in 2012 through a similar strategic approach targeting pinnacle retail stores well aligned with the brand’s cache in the local market, according to the company.

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