Best Buy Puts $2.1B into Cell-Phone Retailer
London Best Buy Co. is paying $2.1 billion for a 50% stake in a European cell-phone retailer, the companies announced on Thursday.
The Carphone Warehouse will place its 2,400 U.S. and European stores in the new joint venture.
The deal also includes the Web and direct businesses of The Carphone Warehouse, the insurance operations, and its airtime reselling businesses.
The Carphone Warehouse will continue as sole owner of its fixed line telecoms business in the United Kingdom, which includes TalkTalk, AOL Broadband and Opal; and its share of the Virgin Mobile France joint venture.
Carphone Warehouse said it would use the proceeds to pay down debt, invest in broadband customer growth, infrastructure and other areas. Its current European retail management team initially will remain in place, the companies said.
Cadbury Schweppes launches Dr Pepper Snapple Group
PLANO Cadbury Schweppes has spun off its Americas Beverages business into a separate company dubbed Dr Pepper Snapple Group, which was initially listed on the New York Stock Exchange May 7.
The DPS brand portfolio includes flavored carbonated soft drinks, ready-to-drink teas, juices, mixers, waters and other premium beverages. According to DPS, three quarters of the company’s volume comes from brands that are either number one or two in their category. The company had 2007 full-year revenues of $5.7 billion.
“Today marks the beginning of a new era for our business. We have a strong and sustainable business model and can leverage our integrated system for future growth,” said Larry Young, president and chief executive officer of DPS. “We have confidence in the beverage industry and we are looking forward to seizing the opportunities as a stand alone company.”
The DPS portfolio includes popular brands such as 7UP, Mott’s, A&W, Sunkist Soda, Hawaiian Punch, Canada Dry, Schweppes, RC Cola, Diet Rite, Squirt, Penafiel, Yoo-hoo, Rose’s, Clamato and Mr & Mrs T mixers.
The DPS business was formed in 2003 by bringing together Cadbury Schweppes’ four separate North American beverage business units: Dr Pepper/Seven Up, Mott’s, Snapple Beverage Group and Bebidas Mexico. This move brought more than 50 brands under a common vision, business strategy and management structure.
In 2006, the company acquired and began integrating three major independent bottling companies (Dr Pepper/Seven Up Bottling Group, All-American Bottling Company and Seven Up Bottling Company of San Francisco). The following year, the company acquired Southeast-Atlantic Beverage Corp., then the second largest independent bottling company in the U.S.
Home improvement retail to rebound in ’09
LAS VEGAS A leading research firm said Tuesday that home improvement retailers should expect sales to jump 3% in 2009 as the housing industry recovers. That’s what Home Improvement Research Institute (HIRI) managing director Fred Miller told a packed room Tuesday on opening day of the National Hardware Show in Las Vegas.
During his Future Trends in Home Improvement seminar, Miller said he expects the housing market to bottom out this fall and start recovering before the end of the year. But even with a late rebound, total sales are expected to drop 1.5% this year to $302 billion following a 2% decline to $307 billion in 2007.
“It will mark the first time we’ve seen sales decline in back-to-back years,” said Miller. HIRI has been tracking the industry since 1981.
The show floor at the Las Vegas Convention Center was busy the first day, as thousands of attendees milled around 2 million square feet of exhibit space. Separate venues at the show, which runs May 6-8, include New Product World, Lawn & Garden, Homewares and new area for green and sustainable products.