REAL ESTATE

EPN buys stake in Macquarie DDR Trust

BY CSA STAFF

Northbrook, Ill. EPN GP, LLC said Wednesday it has invested $116 million in Macquarie DDR Trust, an Australian publicly traded trust.

EPN GP, which is a joint venture of Elbit Plaza USA and Eastgate Property LLC, said the trust will be renamed EDT Retail Trust and the transaction is expected to close on June 18, giving EPN a 48% ownership interest in the Trust.

The Trust holds interests in 78 operating retail properties valued US$1.5 billion as of December 31, 2009. The portfolio comprises approximately 460 tenants and 13.2 million sq. ft. of mainly community shopping centers and single-box retail properties across the major regions of the United States, with assets located in 23 states.

Key to the transaction is EPN’s acquisition from Macquarie Group of its 50% interest in the entity, with the other 50% owned by Developers Diversified Realty Corp. of Beachwood, Ohio.

Developers Diversified will continue to lease and manage the Trust’s properties.

Alex Berman, EPN’s CEO, said, “We are excited to be making a significant investment in EDT with its high-quality portfolio of retail assets. In joint management with DDR, a top-notch asset and property manager, we look forward to further enhancing the portfolio performance and its value.”

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Whole Foods toughens personal-care organics policy

BY CSA STAFF

WASHINGTON According to The Organic Consumers Association, Whole Foods Market has introduced a new policy that states that it believes personal-care products that claim to be organic should meet the same standards as food products, which are currently regulated by the USDA’s national organic program.

“In the wake of the BP oil spill, Whole Foods’ announcement couldn’t come at a better time. Now more than ever, Americans are searching for alternatives to petro-chemicals, including in the bodycare aisle,” says Ronnie Cummins, co-founder and executive director of OCA. “The new Whole Foods policy is a major victory for people who want to stop washing petrochemical formulations all over their bodies and then down the drain.  These consumers want trusted options for real organic personal care. Whole Foods policy will force major organic cheater brands to drop organic claims from their branding and labeling.”

 

 

Whole Foods’ new policy mandates that “organic product” or “product made with organic [specified ingredients]” claims must be certified under the USDA National Organic Program, just like food.  A more limited “contains organic ingredients” claim for personal care may be certified under the NSF ANSI 305 standard, which has additional allowances for personal care products.  All organic claims which are not certified, including “organics” in branding must otherwise be dropped. Brands have been told they have until August 1 to explain how they will change their labeling or formulations to comply with the new standard. Those that don’t submit an explanation are expected to be dropped from store shelves over the coming year while those that comply will have until June 1, 2011 to be in full compliance with Whole Foods’ new policy, OCA reported.  

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RadioShack names SVP human resources

BY CSA STAFF

FORT WORTH, Texas RadioShack announced that Mary Ann Doran has been named SVP human resources. She is responsible for RadioShack’s overall policy and strategy related to human resources. Doran reports to Julian Day, chairman and CEO.

“We’re pleased to have Mary Ann join our leadership team,” Day said. “Her depth of retail experience and her passion for training and development will advance our commitment to delivering a smart, helpful in-store experience that addresses the changing needs of our customers and maintains The Shack’s leadership position in mobility.”

Doran joins RadioShack after serving as SVP human resources for Zale Corp. in Irving, Texas, where she had worked since 1996. Doran’s earlier experiences in human resources also include The Bombay Company, of Fort Worth, Texas, and the Jordan Marsh Stores Corp. of Boston, a regional department-store chain that ultimately joined the Macy’s organization.

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