Brown Shoe To Acquire Bennett Footwear
St. Louis, Brown Shoe Co. will acquire Boston-based Bennett Footwear Group LLC for $205 million in a deal expected to close in May. Bennett brands, including Via Spiga, Franco Sarto and Etienne Aigner, are sold in major department stores and specialty shops. It also operates eight Via Spiga retail stores.
“Bennett Footwear Group is the perfect fit for Brown Shoe Group,” said Ron Fromm, chairman and CEO, Brown Shoe.
Brown’s senior management will join Brown Shoe and continue to head the Bennett brands.
DSW Plans IPO
Columbus, Ohio, Retail Ventures wholly owned subsidiary DSW is going to break off on its own. The shoe retailer with 175 DSW Shoe Warehouse stores in 32 states will pursue an initial public offering in the first half of 2005. Lehman Brothers is acting as book-running manager of the offering with CIBC World Markets and Johnson Rice acting as co-managers.
After the IPO, Retail Ventures expects to own a majority of the outstanding common shares of DSW. In addition to DSW, Retail Ventures owns 114 Value City Department Stores, 26 Filene’s Basement Stores and 202 shoe supply locations for non-related retailers in the United States.
DSW will use a portion of the proceeds from the IPO to repay intercompany indebtedness owed to Retail Ventures. Retail Ventures will use these funds to pay down its $100 million term loan facility and a portion of its revolving credit facility, which it will refinance at the time of the IPO. With its improved financial position, Retail Ventures plans on improving the merchandise presentation at Value City Department Stores and reestablishing and freshening the stores’ consumer appeal.
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OfficeMax Reports Q4 Income Decline, Announces Exec Changes
Itasca, Ill., OfficeMax posted fourth-quarter net income of $0.7 million, compared to $6.9 million in the same quarter last year. For the full year, the chain posted net income of $173.1 million, up from $8.3 million in the full year 2003. Sales for the quarter increased to $2.69 billion, up from $2.35 billion in the fourth quarter last year. For the year, sales increased to $13.3 billion, up from $8.25 billion.
The company had delayed its financial report for several weeks.
The company also shuffled its executive line-up.
OfficeMax named John Jennings VP and treasurer. Jennings will have responsibility for finance, cash management, investor relations and risk management. Prior to joining OfficeMax, Jennings held the VP, investor relations position with Caremark Rx, Inc. since 2003. Previously, Jennings held treasury, investor relations and strategy positions with CVS Corp.
OfficeMax also named Randy G. Burdick CIO. Burdick previously held the group information officer and VP, supply chain operations role with Hewlett-Packard Co.’s Compaq division.
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