FINANCE

Cost Plus Rejects Pier 1 Takeover Proposal

BY CSA STAFF

Oakland, Calif. Cost Plus said Monday its board of directors unanimously rejected an $88 million takeover bid from larger Pier 1 Imports Inc., according to the Associated Press.

Pier 1 offered to buy the company earlier this month in a stock-swap transaction. In the proposal, Pier 1 said it would issue 0.6 shares of its common stock for each share of Cost Plus common stock, implying a value of $4 per share.

In a letter sent to Pier 1, Cost Plus’ board said the deal is not in the best interests of the company and its shareholders. The board said the company has enough liquidity to “pursue its business objectives and to deliver improvement in our core business metrics.”

The board also called the proposal “distracting and ill-timed given the difficult retail environment and the progress we have made in investing in and improving our business,” the report said.

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Ex-Home Depot merchant charged in kickback scheme

BY CSA STAFF

ATLANTA James Robinson of Atlanta has been charged with two counts of income tax evasion and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud against Home Depot, relating to a kickback scheme involving overseas vendors.

According to U.S. Attorney David Nahmias, Robinson, a former divisional merchandise manager for flooring for Home Depot, is the second person to be charged for taking secret payoffs from the retailer’s foreign suppliers and then not reporting or paying taxes on the income.

 

“Vendor kickbacks to corporate employees corrupt the honest operations of American businesses, and those who pay, receive, or solicit such payoffs may face federal prosecution,” said Nahmias.

Robinson’s alleged role in the kickback scheme involved him arranging for Home Depot to purchase items for resale on less than the best terms to the company, according to Nahmias. Robinson left Home Depot in July 2007.

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Restoration Hardware approves deal with Catterton Partners

BY CSA STAFF

CORTE MADERA, Calif. Restoration Hardware reported that its shareholders have accepted the amended merger agreement between Restoration Hardware and certain affiliates of Catterton Partners. The amended merger agreement was adopted on June 12 at a special meeting of shareholders of Restoration Hardware’s outstanding shares of common stock, with more than 99% of the votes cast in favor of the amended merger agreement.

“We are pleased with the outcome of today’s vote and appreciate the strong support demonstrated by our shareholders,” said Gary Friedman, Restoration Hardware’s chairman, president and ceo.

Restoration Hardware said it expects the transaction to be completed next week.

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