FINANCE

Casey’s tells shareholders to reject buyout offer

BY CSA STAFF

Ankeny, Iowa Casey’s General Stores urged its shareholders Tuesday to reject a hostile $1.9 billion buyout offer from the owner of Circle K convenience stores.

Casey’s board said the $36 per-share bid from Canada’s Alimentation Couche-Tard was too low and wasn’t in Casey’s best interest.

“We believe this is a self-serving and transparent attempt by Couche-Tard to take significant value that rightly belongs to Casey’s shareholders,” said Casey’s CEO Robert J. Myers in a statement.

He said Casey’s shareholders “will reap far greater value from our industry leading performance, significant growth opportunities, successful execution of our strategic initiatives, strong balance sheet and real estate position, and the benefits of our highly differentiated business model and well-regarded self-distribution system.”

Casey’s operates a chain of about 1,500 convenience stores, most of them in the Midwest. Couche-Tard has about 3,500 U.S. stores, including the Circle K chain.

Casey’s board has previously said the offer, submitted in April, was too low and rebuffed the bid. But then the Canadian company took its bid directly to shareholders in a tender offer.

On Monday, the feud intensified when Couche-Tard announced plans to nominate a slate of nine candidates to Casey’s board.

Myers said Tuesday that Couche-Tard’s plan to nominate candidates for the Casey’s board is “clearly an attempt by Couche-Tard to gain control of Casey’s and force through its inadequate proposal to acquire the company.”

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B&N, Pandigital bring color to e-book experience

BY CSA STAFF

DUBLIN , Calif. (May25) Barnes & Noble has partnered with Barnes & Noble to offer the Pandigital Novel, a 7-inch e-reader with integrated Barnes & Noble e-bookstore, full color touch-screen display, Wi-Fi connectivity, and multimedia capabilities, Pandigital announced.

Through the partnership, Pandigital Novel cutsomers will have access to Barnes & Noble’s full e-bookstore catalog and be able to share content with others using Barnes & Noble’s LendMe technology.

"First and foremost, the Pandigital Novel e-reader was designed to deliver a world-class e-reading experience," said Dean Finnegan, CEO and founder of Pandigital. "By focusing on delivering superior content from Barnes & Noble, an easy-to-use design and an excellent customer experience, Pandigital is delivering a value proposition not currently available in the eReader category. With its many additional features, Pandigital Novel customers will be able to read what they want and do more of what they want on the go with an affordable product that is simple and fun to use."

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Bach to retire from Microsoft

BY CSA STAFF

Microsoft announced that Robbie Bach, president of the entertainment and devices division, will retire from the company this fall.

The company announced that SVP Don Mattrick will continue to lead the interactive entertainment business and SVP Andy Lees will continue to lead the mobile communications business. Each will report directly to CEO Steve Ballmer effective July 1.

"For the past 22 years, Robbie has personified creativity, innovation and drive. With this spirit, he has led a division passionately devoted to making Microsoft successful in interactive entertainment and mobility," Ballmer said. "Robbie’s an amazing business person and close personal friend, which makes his departure a point of sadness for me. However, given the strong leadership team he has built, the business performance of E&D this year and the launches of Windows Phone 7 and ‘Project Natal’ this fall, we are set up well for success as we continue to drive our mobile and entertainment businesses forward."

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