Borders Group CEO Denies Sales Discussion
Dearborn, Mich. Borders Group Inc. has not had substantial discussions regarding a possible sale of the bookseller and is moving forward on efforts to improve its business, CEO George Jones said Thursday.
The CEO provided the update to investors during the Ann Arbor company’s annual meeting of shareholders in Dearborn, according to the Associated Press. The meeting came a day after a report in The Wall Street Journal that rival bookseller Barnes & Noble Inc. had assembled a team to study the possibility of acquiring Borders.
Barnes & Noble confirmed on Thursday that it had put together a management team to study the feasibility of a combination.
Borders said in March that it may put itself up for sale and that it had lined up $42.5 million in financing to help it continue operations from hedge fund Pershing Square Capital Management LP, its largest shareholder.
Jones told The Associated Press after the meeting that the company’s review of strategic alternatives, which could include the possible sale of all or part of the company, hasn’t been a distraction to Borders’ efforts to revamp its stores and prepare for the upcoming launch of the new Borders.com Web site.
“We think the best thing we can do for shareholders, regardless of what the strategic alternatives might be, is to focus on running our business the best way possible. And that’s what we’re trying to do,” Hones said.
Borders is more than a year into a restructuring that includes rolling out the concept of U.S. superstores. Borders’ new Web site is expected to be ready to start taking orders soon.
Any deal between Borders and Barnes & Noble would need to address possible antitrust concerns from federal regulators because the two book chains combined control about one-third of the market.
Office Depot receives pre-LEED certification for new prototype
DELRAY BEACH, Fla. Office Depot announced that it has become the first company to achieve volume pre-certification under the pilot Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Portfolio Program for its store prototype design – the retailer’s master set of drawings – from the United States Green Building Council (USGBC).
A USGBC member since 2007, Office Depot was part of the first group of participants to become involved in the pilot of the Portfolio Program. Part of the initiative involves piloting a volume certification path to enable companies to integrate LEED attributes into a prototype design and apply it across multiple buildings.
“Office Depot has implemented a number of initiatives over the past couple of years to improve the energy efficiency of our stores and reduce our environmental footprint,” said Ed Costa, vp of construction for Office Depot. “Achieving Volume Pre-Certification through LEED affirms our leadership position in the retail industry as well as in general building construction. The entire organization is proud of this accomplishment.”
The first Office Depot store to be built to this prototype is located in Austin, Texas and is scheduled to open late next month. According to the USGBC, LEED-Certified buildings reduce energy usage, create less waste and emit fewer harsh chemicals.
Weis Markets to acquire Giant Markets
SUNBURY, Pa. Weis Markets announced its plans to purchase the stores of Binghamton New York-based Giant Markets. It expects to complete the purchase in by Aug. 21.
Weis Markets will purchase Giant Markets’ Broome County stores located in Binghamton, Vestal, Endicott, Endwell and Johnson City.
“This acquisition is an excellent strategic fit for our company. Giant Markets is the market leader in Broome County where they have excellent locations, modern stores and a strong market presence,” said Weis Markets’ vice chairman Jonathan Weis. “For many years, they have been a significant part of the community and they’ve offered an excellent combination of quality, value and service. We are pleased to be working with their associates and look forward to welcoming them to our organization.”