FINANCE

Casey’s says two more proxy firms support its board nominees

BY CSA STAFF

Ankeny, Ohio Casey’s General Stores said Friday that two more proxy advisory firms have recommended that its shareholders vote for the company’s eight board nominees instead of the slate that suitor Alimentation Couche-Tard wants to elect, the Associated Press reported.

Canada’s Couche-Tard has offered about $2.03 billion, or $38.50 a share, for Casey’s. But Casey’s has maintained that the bid is too low.

Casey’s has also received a bid of $40 a share in cash from 7-Eleven, which it also says undervalues the company.

On Friday, Casey’s said Proxy Governance and Egan-Jones Proxy Services have joined Institutional Shareholder Services and Glass Lewis & Co. in supporting its board nominees. Proxy Governance recommends stockholders re-elect all of Casey’s nominees, while Egan-Jones suggests voting for seven of the nominees.

Casey’s annual shareholders meeting is scheduled for Thursday.

On Thursday, Couche-Tard told Casey’s shareholders it was willing to boost its offer if it is allowed to perform a confirmatory due diligence review of Casey’s. The company said Casey’s has rejected its request to hold talks, but is willing to have discussions with 7-Eleven. Casey’s said earlier his week that it does not believe talks are necessary on Couche-Tard’s latest bid.

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Sears launches waste-prevention plan

BY CSA STAFF

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. Sears Holdings announced a new agreement with WasteWise, the country’s first national voluntary solid waste reduction program sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

As a WasteWise partner, Sears Holdings said it pledges to continue to establish new waste-prevention activities, expand or improve its current recycling efforts, and purchase and/or manufacturer additional products with recycled content.  The programs Sears Holdings initiates as part of its participation in WasteWise will build on the successes of its established waste-prevention and recycling efforts to make these programs even stronger.

According to Michael Brown, director, environmental sustainability, “Our environmental sustainability, environmental affairs, store operations, and procurement teams have been proactively working to implement sustainable solutions throughout Sears Holdings Corporation and its U.S. affiliates.  We hope our partnership with WasteWise will help us learn new techniques and best practices that will continue to reduce costs, preserve natural resources and protect the environment.”

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GameStop to authorize $500M in additional repurchase funds

BY CSA STAFF

GRAPEVINE, Texas GameStop announced that its board of directors has authorized $500 million in additional repurchase funds. $300 million of the additional funds will be used in the company’s share repurchase plan and $200 million will be used to retire the company’s senior notes. This program is incremental to the initial $300 million stock repurchase plan announced in January 2010 and completed in the company’s second fiscal quarter of 2010.

J. Paul Raines, CEO, stated, “We are pleased that the board authorized this additional buyback in 2010 as the next phase in our long-term plan to increase total shareholder return. We have confidence in the business to continue delivering consistent cash flow, which gives us the ability to invest in our core business, digital initiatives and enhance shareholder value.”

Under the program, GameStop may purchase debt or shares through open market purchases, debt calls or privately negotiated transactions in compliance with SEC regulations and other legal requirements. The timing and actual amount of debt or shares repurchased will depend on several factors including price, capital availability and other market conditions. This repurchase program does not have any specific limitations and may be suspended or terminated at any time.

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