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Bay Harbour Affiliate Set to Acquire Steve & Barry’s

BY CSA STAFF

New York City Steve & Barry’s announced Thursday that BH S&B Holdings LLC, a newly-formed subsidiary of Manhattan-based Bay Harbour Management, was the successful bidder at the auction to acquire certain assets of Steve & Barry’s. Under the terms of the deal, which is valued at $168 million, the majority of the apparel retailer’s 276 stores nationwide will remain open.

The bid is subject to bankruptcy court approval. It is expected to be completed on Aug. 25. The Bay Harbour Management subsidiary had previously offered to buy the chain for $163 million.

“Steve & Barry’s offers a unique, high-value shopping destination to the American consumer,” said Douglas Teitelbaum, managing principal of Bay Harbour Management, in a statement. “There’s a fundamentally strong business model at Steve & Barry’s that just needs some fine-tuning to get it back on a growth track in order to reach its full potential.”

 

As part of the agreement, Bay Harbour will acquire the company’s merchandise inventories, transfer rights to store leases, and all intellectual-property rights, including its celebrity and brand licenses, headquarters and other key facilities.

Steve & Barry’s had filed for bankruptcy protection in July, citing tight credit markets and a pullback in customer spending.

Bay Harbour Management has significant experience in purchasing and subsequently turning around distressed companies. The firm’s holdings have included Barneys New York, and the former Aladdin Casino, now operating on the Las Vegas strip as the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino following its rebranding. Among the investors in BH S&B Holdings are Steve & Barry’s co-founders Steve Shore and Barry Prevor.

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Best Buy launches DTV microsite, Facebook application

BY CSA STAFF

MINNEAPOLIS Best Buy announced two new online initiatives to help consumers prepare for the transition from analog to digital television in February 2009. The company has launched a microsite, www.askablueshirt.com, which gives consumers access to Best Buy home theater professionals and DTV-related educational information. In addition, the company also launched an interactive application on the social networking site Facebook, which boasts 90 million active users worldwide, to further promote DTV awareness.

“With the transition date approaching, we want to do whatever we can to help educate people about their options, said Mike Mohan, senior vice president of consumer electronics for Best Buy. “The Facebook application and our microsite will reach out to new audiences with this message, encouraging young people to make sure they are ready for DTV, and to help family and friends who have not yet prepared.”

Askablueshirt.com provides information on how to participate in the coupon program established by the National Telecommunications, as well as other information related to the DTV switch, through a blog and frequently asked questions section.  

The Facebook application features quizes on TV shows that incorporate DTV-related questions and a “forward to a friend” component.

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Longs Drugs reports 2Q income growth

BY CSA STAFF

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. Longs Drug Stores reported preliminary income from continuing operations for the second quarter ended July 31 of $27.5 million, or 76 cents per diluted share, a 6.8% increase compared with income from continuing operations for the second quarter ended July 26, 2007 of $25.7 million, or 67 cents per diluted share.

Retail drug store sales increased 0.5% to $1.20 billion for the 13 weeks ended July 31. Same-store sales decreased 1.1% with pharmacy same-store sales decreasing 0.6% and front-end same-store sales decreasing 1.6%. Pharmacy sales were 51.6% of retail drug store sales during the period, compared with 51.3% a year ago.

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