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CKE Restaurants accepts buyout from Apollo affiliate

BY CSA STAFF

Carpenteria, Calif. CKE Restaurants, parent of Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr., said it has accepted a buyout deal valued at $1 billion from an affiliate of Apollo Global Management.

The deal with Columbia Lake Acquisition Holdings, which includes a cash offer of $12.55 a share and the refinancing of CKE’s debt, is expected to close by the end of second quarter 2011, the companies said in a statement Monday morning.

CKE said it had terminated an earlier acquisition agreement from another private-equity firm, Thomas H. Lee Partners, for $11.05 per share, or about $615 million in cash. THL’s offer also included the assumption of $309 million in debt.

The deal with Apollo is contingent on regulatory approval and a vote by CKE shareholders. CKE said affiliates of Morgan Stanley, Citi and RBC Capital Markets are providing $700 million in financing for the deal.

Carpinteria, Calif.-based CKE operates or franchises 1,224 Carl’s Jr. restaurants and 1,905 Hardee’s locations.

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Michaels Stores reworks Web site

BY CSA STAFF

WOBURN, Mass. Michaels Stores has selected Demandware’s e-commerce platform to re-platform its Web site and deliver the seamless integration of content and community to its customers, Demandware announced. The initial focus will be a site redesign with emphasis on branding, improved search and navigation, customer reviews and enhanced social networking capabilities, the company reported.

“Michaels.com will become an online destination that fosters creativity and informs purchasing decisions, which will drive online visitors back to our physical stores,” said John Rowe, general manager of strategic marketing for Michaels Stores. “Demandware provides out-of-box functionality that is scalable to our growing brand and future ecommerce needs, and will help inspire our customers with a seamless cross-channel experience.'”

New features on the site will include enhanced customer ratings and product reviews, as well as rich media. Michaels.com will also feature a hosted social community, contests and user-generated content that will help to inspire and educate online customers.

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Craftsman heads to the ballpark

BY CSA STAFF

The Craftsman brand is playing ball with Major League Baseball Properties through a four-year deal that allows Craftsman to embellish tools with team logos — from the Angels to the Yankees and all teams in between.

The deal allows Craftsman to feature the logos of Major League Baseball and its 30 clubs on products including hand tools, power tools, tool storage and lawn and garden tools and equipment.

 

 

Kris Malkoski, VP and general manager of the Craftsman brand for Sears Holdings, said the deal is good fit. “We know that Craftsman consumers are very passionate about our brand in much the same way MLB fans are about ‘their’ teams, and the agreement with MLB is another way that Craftsman is bringing innovative products to our customers and their devout counterparts who are Major League Baseball fans,” he said. “All of the tools and products alike will be permanently branded with the logos of Major League Baseball, providing all of the innovation, reliability and trust in your hands that is Craftsman.” Malkoski added.

 

Terms of the deal were not released. In a joint announcement, MLB and Craftsman suggested the tools will be sought after by collectors.

 

“Craftsman, Sears, and baseball have been American icons for generations,” said Howard Smith, SVP licensing for Major League Baseball. “The addition of Major League Baseball products from Craftsman is a perfect fit, and we know our fans will be excited by this unique relationship and the innovative way that we are able to offer branded products of the highest caliber.”

 

All Craftsman hand tools are backed by a lifetime warranty.

 

The announcement followed shortly after Sears Holdings announced a partnership with baseball legend Mike Schmidt and the Sears Blue Lawn & Garden Crew to spread “More Green Across America.”

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