Barneys gets new owner in debt-for-equity swap
New York — Barneys New York said that it has reached an agreement with its largest lender, Perry Capital, and other lenders to significantly reduce the retailer’s debt and improve its capital structure. Under the arrangement, Perry Capital has become the majority owner of Barneys. Under a debt-for-equity swap with Perry Capital, as well as other lenders, Ron Burkle’s Yucaipa Cos and current owner Istithmar World, the chain’s long-term debt will fall to $50 million from $590 million. The deal makes Perry Capital the majority owner of Barneys.
“We are extremely pleased to have reached an agreement with our partners that will significantly reduce our debt and provide the company with the funding to accelerate the execution of our successful business strategy,” stated Barneys CEO Mark Lee. “This agreement provides us with increased free cash flow that will be used to revitalize our stores, invest in Barneys.com and further enhance our customer experience at a time when our operational financial performance is very strong.”
Barneys reported double-digit comparable sales growth and a 40% increase in annual EBITDA for the full year 2011 compared with 2010.
“Barneys New York is an extraordinary brand that will become even stronger through this transaction,” said Richard Perry, CEO of Perry Capital. “We are confident that the new capital structure will provide the Barneys management team with the financial flexibility it needs to continue its already impressive performance.”
Seasoned apparel exec named CEO of Kellwood Company
NEW YORK — Apparel manufacturer Kellwood Company has named Jill Granoff as CEO. Granoff brings a vast knowledge of the fashion industry and retailing to the position with over 20 years of brand building and executive leadership experience.
As CEO, Granoff will be responsible for the overall growth and direction of Kellwood’s diversified portfolio of brands including Vince, Rebecca Taylor, David Meister, BLK DNM, Zobha, Lamb & Flag, Baby Phat, Phat Farm, Sag Harbor, Briggs NY, Jolt, My Michelle, and XOXO. Her broad experience across brands, channels, product categories and geographies will be a valuable asset for the company.
Most recently, Granoff served as CEO of Kenneth Cole Productions Inc. Prior to that, Granoff was EVP Liz Claiborne Inc., where she had global responsibility for Juicy Couture, Lucky Brand Jeans, Kate Spade and the company’s e-commerce and outlet businesses. Granoff previously held senior posts at Victoria’s Secret Beauty where she last served as president and COO and at Estee Lauder Inc. where she was SVP strategic planning, finance and information systems.
Animal welfare group praises Safeway’s goal of sourcing gestation-crate-free pork
PLEASANTON, Calif. and WASHINGTON — The Humane Society of the United States is praising Safeway’s efforts to establish a gestation stall-free supply chain.
Safeway annnounced Monday that, due to concernes over animal welfare, it is working toward the goal of purchasing pork from producers that have made commitments to decreasing gestation stalls in their breeding facilities.
"Safeway’s decision to move away from gestation crates is welcome and encouraging news," said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The HSUS. "Given the scope and quantity of pork products sold by Safeway, this announcement is an important step in addressing animal welfare in the company’s supply chain."
Safeway joins McDonald’s, Burger King and Wendy’s, along with Compass Group, the nation’s largest foodservice company, which have recently announced moves toward gestation stall-free supply chains.
"Our company supports the efforts of our suppliers who have committed to reductions in their use of gestation stalls," said Safeway VP public affairs Brian Dowling. "With that in mind, the company is formulating plans to determine how it can reach that goal."