FINANCE

Charming Shoppes Files Lawsuit

BY CSA STAFF

Bensalem, Pa. Charming Shoppes announced Friday that it has brought an action against the Crescendo Partners and Myca Partners hedge funds for allegedly violating federal securities laws.

In the federal lawsuit filed on March 7 in the United States District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Charming Shoppes, Inc. asserted that Crescendo Partners and Myca Partners have filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission materially misleading and incomplete documents in violation of Section 13(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 as part of their campaign to nominate three directors to Charming Shoppes’ board of directors.

“We filed this suit against Arnaud Ajdler, Eric Rosenfeld, Robert Frankfurt and the Crescendo Partners and Myca Partners hedge funds to ensure that our shareholders receive complete and accurate information about the group’s interests, plans and motivations that is required by the federal securities laws,” said Dorrit J. Bern, chairman, CEO and president of Charming Shoppes. “We will continue to take appropriate steps to protect the interests of Charming Shoppes’ shareholders.”

According to the Charming Shoppes complaint, the Crescendo Partners and Myca Partners hedge funds “have depicted themselves to the investing public as legitimate investors and ‘would-be’ directors, when in truth their intention is to achieve personal gain at the expense of Charming Shoppes and its shareholders. At no time have Defendants disclosed any part of their true track record of using proxy fights to disrupt corporations and to profit by forcing them to sell assets, buy back stock or buy off defendants and their cronies.”

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Thompson to head Rite Aid Northeast division

BY CSA STAFF

CAMP HILL, Pa. Rite Aid has promoted Robert Thompson to senior vp of the Northeast division, in charge of more than 1,000 stores. Thompson was previously serving as vp of pharmacy business development.

Thompson will report to Brian Fiala, evp of store operations.

Thompson, joined Rite Aid in 2004 as vp of pharmacy business development, charged with developing and implementing strategic initiatives to grow the companys pharmacy business. He has been integrally involved in planning and implementing Rite Aids integration of the recently purchased Brooks and Eckerd drug store chains.

We are fortunate to have Robert in this new position because he brings a breadth of experience to the job with his background in pharmacy, store operations and new business development, Fiala said. His recent experience integrating our newly acquired stores will be particularly valuable since so many of them are located in the Northeast. 

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Ahold U.S. forges ahead

BY CSA STAFF

AMSTERDAM, The Netherlands Ahold Thursday noted its efforts in the United States, pointing out that it had rolled out 70% of its VIP program at Stop & Shop and Giant-Landover. The company also noted that in 2008 it will focus on the completion of the VIP program and the remodeling of its Giant-Landover stores.

Ahold reported that fourth quarter net sales for its Stop & Shop/Giant-Landover segment were $3.9 billion, up 2% from the same period last year. Identical-store sales (excluding fuel) were up 1.2% and down 0.5% at Giant-Landover. For the full year, net sales were $16.7 billion, up 1.5% compared to last year. Identical sales (excluding fuel) were up 0.6% at Stop & Shop and down 1.1% at Giant-Landover. Operating income was $663 million – or 4% of net sales – down $176 million compared to last year.

For its Giant-Carlisle segment, Ahold reported fourth quarter net sales of 1 billion, up 8.6% compared to last year, due in part to the acquisition of Clemens Markets in the fourth quarter of 2006. Identical sales were up 3.8% (excluding fuel). For the full year, net sales were $4.3 billion, up 13% compared to last year, due in part to the acquisition of Clemens Markets in the fourth quarter of 2006. Identical sales were up 3.2% (excluding fuel).

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