Barnes & Noble unable to reach settlement with Burkle
New York City Barnes & Noble said Thursday it has not reached a settlement with billionaire investor Ron Burkle’s Yucaipa Cos. The announcement followed on the heels of various reports that the two companies were close to a deal.
“Barnes & Noble and Yucaipa were unable to conclude an agreement on mutually acceptable terms,” Barnes & Noble said Thursday in a statement.
On late Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal and The New York Times both reported the two were close to a settlement agreement so Barnes & Noble could avoid a costly proxy fight and concentrate on selling off the company.
Burkle, who owns a 19% stake in the bookseller, is suing the company in an effort to expand his stake without triggering its poison pill. The collapse of the deal leaves Barnes & Noble open to a messy fight with one of its largest shareholders at a time when the company is trying to sell itself. In early August, the retailer said it was considering strategic alternatives, including a possible sale of the company, to boost stockholder value.
Burkle has indicated that he wants to wage a proxy contest to elect three new directors and would like time to buy more voting shares before a Monday deadline if the judge rules in his favor, The New York Times reported. If the two sides do eventually come to an agreement, Burkle would end his bid to gain more control over the book seller.
Burkle has challenged Barnes & Noble’s poison pill strategy, which prevents anyone from taking more than a 20% stake in the company without board approval. He believes the strategy creates an unfair playing field that favors the controlling Riggio family, which owns more than 30% of the chain’s common stock.
Staples names head of foundation division
FRAMINGHAM, Mass. Staples has announced the appointment of Mike Miles as president of Staples Foundation for Learning, the charitable arm of Staples Inc.
Miles, Staples’ president and COO, succeeds Ron Sargent, Staples’ chairman and CEO, as head of the foundation.
“As we continue to build SFFL, we look forward to further engaging our senior executives in contributing to the growth and development of the organization,” said Sargent. “The foundation is in good hands under Mike’s leadership and I look forward to providing my continued support toward the great work the team is doing.”
Since its launch in 2002, Staples Foundation for Learning has contributed to nearly 1,000 non-profit organizations, Staples reported.
Macy’s quarterly earnings see significant growth
CINCINNATI Macy’s reported earnings of 35 cents per diluted share for the second quarter of 2010, ended July 31. According to the company, this significant earnings increase over the second quarter of last year was driven by higher-than-expected sales, improved margins, a reduced expense rate and disciplined inventory management.
“We believe our business is beginning to hit its stride after implementing significant structural and organizational changes over thepast two years. While the economic environment remains uncertain, Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s have a terrific opportunity to continue to take market share and grow our business profitably,” said Terry Lundgren, Macy’s Inc. chairman, president and CEO.
In the second quarter of 2009, Macy’s earned 2 cents per diluted share.
Sales in the second quarter totaled $5.537 billion, up 7.2% from total sales of $5.164 billion in the second quarter of 2009. On asame-store basis, Macy’s Inc.’s second quarter sales were up 4.9%.
Macy’s Inc. currently expects same-store sales in the second half of fiscal 2010 to be up in the range of 3% to 3.5%, whichwould result in full-year 2010 same-store sales to be up between 4% and 4.2%. At the beginning of the year, the company’sinitial guidance was for a 2010 same-store sales increase of 1% to 2%. At the end of the first quarter, full-year same-storesales guidance was raised to up 3% to 3.5%, reflecting improvement in the business trend.
Based on stronger sales expectations, Macy’s Inc. is increasing its full-year 2010 earnings guidance to $1.85 to $1.90 per diluted share.This compares with previous guidance of $1.75 to $1.80 per diluted share, and initial earnings guidance of $1.55 to $1.60 per diluted share provided at the beginning of the year.