FINANCE

Best Buy founder offers $8.8 billion to buy out company

BY Marianne Wilson

Best Buy founder and former chairman Richard Schulze on Monday offered to buy the struggling retailer and take it private for as much as $8.8 billion. Schulze said he would offer Best Buy shareholders between $24 and $26 for each of their shares in the chain, according to a letter sent to the board that he made public.

“There is no question that now is the moment of truth for Best Buy and that immediate and substantial changes are needed for the company to return to its market-leading ways," Schulze said in a statement. "I am deeply concerned that further delay and indecision will cause additional loss of both value and talented leaders who are now uncertain of the company’s future."

Schulze is Best Buy largest’s stakeholder, with a 20.1% stake . He said he wants to pay between $24 and $26 per share for Best Buy, which represents a 36% to 47% premium over the company’s Friday closing stock price. Based on Best Buy’s 339.9 million outstanding shares, the offer values the company at $8.16 billion to $8.84 billion, according to the New York Times.

In his letter to Best Buy’s board, Schulze said he has developed a plan to deal with the company’s challenges and has talked with private equity firms. He said he would finance the deal through a combination of private equity investments, about $1 billion of his own equity and debt. Schulze has held talks with past executives who are interested in rejoining the company, including former CEO Brad Anderson and former COO Allen Lenzmeier, according to various reports.

Schultz resigned as chairman of Best Buy in June amid a scandal involving CEO Brian Dunn, who left amid allegations of an inappropriate relationship with a female employee. A board investigation found that Schulze knew about the relationship and failed to alert the board or human resources.

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News

Nestle names new U.S. chairman

BY CSA STAFF

GLENDALE, Calif. — Paul Grimwood, CEO of Nestlé UK and Ireland, has been appointed to the role of chairman and CEO of Nestlé USA following the announcement by current chairman and CEO Brad Alford, who is to retire in October 2012.

Grimwood has been CEO of Nestlé UK and Ireland since January 2009, and headed the Nestlé UK Confectionery business for three years prior to that. During this period, despite the difficult economic environment, Nestlé’s business in the United Kingdom and Ireland delivered consistent growth in sales and profitability, and grew overall market share. Grimwood also led a major investment program to create Nestlé’s next generation of world-class manufacturing operations in the UK. He joined Nestlé in 2001 in Nestlé Purina PetCare United Kingdom and Ireland.

Alford has been with Nestlé for 32 years, including nearly seven years as chairman and CEO of Nestlé USA. He was market head of Nestlé Oceania and in the U.S. led many businesses during his career, including Nestlé FoodServices, Confections & Snacks and Nestlé Brands before being named to his current role in late 2005. During his tenure, Nestlé USA has grown to sales of more than $10 billion by expanding into new categories and developing new distribution systems. Nestlé USA is one of the largest markets for Nestlé S.A., headquartered in Switzerland.

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STORE SPACES

Starbucks stores in energy-saving pilot

BY Marianne Wilson

Oakland, Calif. — Lucid, a provider of real-time feedback technology for buildings, is spearheading a study of resource consumption and behavior change with Starbucks Coffee Co. The pilot project, developed in conjunction with the Snohomish County Public Utility District and Portland Energy Conservation Inc., will be hosted by 10 Starbucks stores in Snohomish County, Wash., and will serve to test and document measurable energy savings in the stores.

The program encourages Starbucks employees to identify conservation strategies that will reduce the amount of energy required to run their stores while not impacting customer service. The pilot will evaluate energy savings derived by providing energy use data to employees, coupled with friendly competition among stores.

The pilot pairs a 30-day competition among 10 Starbucks stores using Lucid’s Building Dashboard platform to promote behavior change through real-time energy usage information, employee engagement and focused energy savings strategies. It complements a broad range of energy efficiency and sustainability goals embraced by Starbucks throughout its retail locations.

For Starbucks, the pilot continues its leadership around conservation.

“We have committed to reducing energy and water use in company-owned stores by 25% by 2015,” said Jim Hanna, director, environmental stewardship at Starbucks. “This pilot project demonstrates our ongoing desire to meet our customers’ expectations of providing a premium experience while at the same time constantly evaluating our environmental performance.”

The pilot will run for at least one year.

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Feb-11-2013 03:20 pm

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J.Jonsan111 says:
Feb-11-2013 03:20 pm

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Dec-31-2012 12:19 pm

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azee1122 says:
Dec-31-2012 12:19 pm

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