OPERATIONS

Francesca’s Holdings’ CFO fired in social media flap

BY Marianne Wilson

Houston — Francesca’s Holdings Corp. fired its CFO Gene Morphis after an internal investigation found that he had “improperly” communicated company information through social media. The company said it began an investigation after discovering his activity on May 11.

"We are disappointed by this situation but we expect our executives to comply with all company policies. We acted immediately on Friday afternoon when we first became aware of the matter and have moved swiftly to replace Mr. Morphis based on the findings of the investigation,” chairman Greg Brennerman said in a statement.

The specialty retailer named comptroller and VP accounting Cynthia Thomassee as an interim CFO while it searches for a permanent replacement.

Morphis had served as the company’s finance chief since October 2010.

According to a report by Forbes.com, Morphis had a public Facebook account on which he often posted about his duties as Francesca’s CFO.

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FINANCE

Canada’s Golf Town to acquire Golfsmith International

BY Marianne Wilson

Toronto — Golf Town, Canada’s largest specialty golf retailer, will acquire Golfsmith International Holdings Inc. for approximately $97.2 million. The Canadian company will pay $6.10 per share in cash, which represents a 30% premium over the Austin, Texas-based Golfsmith’s Friday closing stock price of $4.71.

Golfsmith operates 85 stores in the United States.

On the closing of the deal, Golfsmith CEO Martin Hanaka will assume the role of CEO of the combined company. Sue Gove, president, Golfsmith COO and CFO, will become the president and COO of the combined company.

“We hold Golf Town in the highest regard and believe them to be an ideal partner to take Golfsmith to the next stage of growth," said Hanaka.

Golf Town is owned by OMERS Private Equity and operates 54 stores across Canada and seven stores in the greater Boston area.

“Golfsmith is a company that we have admired for years. This transaction will give us a formidable footprint in North America and will also provide a strong platform for future growth," said Don Morrison, senior managing director and Canadian country head of OMERS Private Equity.

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REAL ESTATE

RKF opens Chicago office

BY Staff Writer

New York — RKF announced the opening of a Chicago office as part of its ongoing expansion into key urban markets nationwide. This is the firm’s seventh office; others include its New York headquarters, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Northern New Jersey, and San Francisco.

“The opening of our Chicago office is a crucial part of our national strategy to expand RKF’s on-the-ground presence in key urban markets in the U.S.,” said RKF chairman & CEO Robert Futterman.

Anthony Campagni, managing director, is the first to join the firm’s Chicago office. Campagni joins RKF from Baum Realty Group and specializes in retail-tenant and landlord representation. He is joined by associate Elan Rasansky, who was also previously with Baum Realty Group.

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