FINANCE

Couche-Tard makes direct appeal to Casey’s shareholders

BY CSA STAFF

New York City Canadian convenience store operator Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. has gone directly to the shareholders of Casey’s General Stores Inc. via an open letter on Thursday, ignoring Casey’s rejection of Couche-Tard’s approximately $2.03 billion takeover offer and saying it’s willing to up the ante.

In the letter to shareholders, Couche-Tard, which runs Circle K in the U.S., said it would consider raising its $2.02 billion offer if it is allowed to perform a confirmatory due diligence review of Casey’s.

Couche-Tard has already made several bids for Casey’s, which has maintained the offers are too low. Couche-Tard is arguing that its bid is not much lower than that of 7-Eleven Inc., which has offered $2.04 billion.

Couche-Tard said that Casey’s has rejected its request to hold talks, but is willing to have discussions with 7-Eleven. Casey’s said on Tuesday that it does not believe talks are necessary on Couche-Tard’s current bid.

Casey’s annual shareholders’ meeting is scheduled for Sept. 23.

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Ebay improves user experience for blind Americans

BY CSA STAFF

SAN JOSE, Calif. Ebay has announced a partnership with the National Federation of the Blind to create more opportunities for blind Americans to access Ebay as buyers and sellers.

According to the company, Ebay.com now includes enhanced features for users to buy, bid and sell using the keyboard alone, as well as improved ways to navigate content using assistive technologies such as screen access software.

“We have great respect for the advocacy role the NFB plays in creating employment opportunities for the blind,” said John Donahoe, president and CEO of Ebay Inc. “Ebay has built a reputation as a driver of job creation by helping entrepreneurs start up and grow their businesses. We are excited about connecting with an even wider audience through this partnership and providing blind Americans with easier access to our marketplace for both buying and selling.”

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Sears launches collection with French Connection UK

BY CSA STAFF

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. Sears announced that it is partnering with French Connection UK and LF USA’s Regatta division, to launch UK Style by French Connection.

According to the company, the collaboration will bring in-store, branded boutiques to 500 Sears locations throughout the United States starting in the first quarter of 2011, just in time for the spring shopping season. Simultaneously, the collection will be available on Sears.com.

 

“French Connection is a world leader in contemporary fashion,” said John Goodman, EVP apparel and home Sears Holdings. “This addition to our brand portfolio will significantly increase our relevance among younger customers while strengthening our effort to re-energize our fashion offerings at Sears. The launch of UK Style by French Connection signifies our continued commitment to compelling fashion and great value. We are thrilled with this major opportunity to work with a company whose vibrant, cutting-edge fashion and avant-garde marketing have made waves in the fashion industry for almost forty years.”

The women’s collection offers floral leggings and striped tanks (from $9.90) along with patterned minis, sequined and animal-print shifts (starting at $29.90), designed to capture French Connection’s joie de vivre, Sears noted. Inspired by street and runway fashions in international capitals, the men’s collection offers dark-washed jeans ($24.90), button-down Oxford shirts ($24.90), and V-neck tees ($12.90). 

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