FINANCE

Christopher & Banks rejects buyout offer from Aria Partners; adopts poison pill

BY Marianne Wilson

Minneapolis — Christopher & Banks Corp. has rejected Aria Partners’ unsolicited $64 million takeover offer, saying it was not in the best interest of stockholders. The private equity firm owns 4% of Christopher & Banks shares. The retailer also adopted a stockholder rights plan, or poison pill, with a trigger at 15%

Private equity firm Aria owns 4% of Christopher & Banks shares.

Christopher & Banks has been trying to cut costs and boost profitability by closing underperforming stores as part of its strategic initiatives. Other priorities include reducing the number of styles and SKUs offered rebalancing the assortment toward more good and better product offerings with fewer best styles and improving inventory flow beginning with the September assortment by reducing the number of major floor sets by half.

In a statement, the company said the board has reaffirmed its commitment to its new management team’s strategic plan, which has already begun to demonstrate signs of progress.

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Coca-Cola celebrates Olympics with latest campaign

BY CSA STAFF

ATLANTA — Coca-Cola is giving fans a chance to get an insider’s look at Team USA through its London 2012 Olympic Games campaign.

As part of the campaign, Coca-Cola has rolled out limited-edition packaging for its beverages. The specially designed cans and fridge packs showcase action-shot silhouettes of Coca-Cola 8-pack of athletes, including: David Boudia (diving); Henry Cejudo (wrestling); Marlen Esparza (boxing); John Isner (tennis); Shawn Johnson (gymnastics); Jessica Long (paralympic swimming); Alex Morgan (soccer) and David Oliver (track and field). The athletes also are highlighted in eight new ads, which have debuted across the networks of NBCUniversal.

The campaign also is supported with online engagement and promotions; a Coca-Cola Times Square billboard that will feature fans’ photos and messages, which will debut on July 18; and more. Additional information can be found on Coca-Cola’s website.

"The new work captures the individual stories of support of our athletes on their Olympic journeys," said Katie Bayne, president and general manager of sparkling beverages at Coca-Cola North America. “Just like Coke, the energetic stories are all about patriotic optimism.”

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LeapFrog CFO resigns

BY CSA STAFF

EMERYVILLE, Calif. — Educational toy manufacturer LeapFrog Enterprises announced that chief financial officer Mark Etnyre has resigned from the company in order to spend more time with his family and pursue personal interests. The resignation will be effective as of Oct. 1.

"Mark has built an excellent finance organization and made significant contributions to LeapFrog’s success over the past five years," said John Barbour, LeapFrog’s chief executive officer. "During his tenure, we improved our financial operations and significantly improved our balance sheet and profitability. We thank Mark for his hard work and dedication, and we wish him the best."

Commenting on his decision, Etnyre said, "I joined LeapFrog because of the importance of helping children achieve their potential and to be a part of an exciting turnaround. The progress over the last five years has been both transformational and rewarding. However, in recent months, personal considerations have shifted my priorities closer to home and my immediate family. LeapFrog is a special place, and I thank JB and LeapFrog’s board for the opportunities they have given me."

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