News

Hudson Bay Co. Sold to American

BY CSA STAFF

Toronto, The Hudson’s Bay Co. board of directors unanimously endorsed an amended bid from the Maple Leaf Heritage Investments Acquisition Corp. for the company’s shares, bringing Canada’s oldest company into the hands of American businessman Jerry Zucker. The deal is estimated at $1.3 billion (C$1.5 billion).

“On behalf of the management of HBC, we are pleased with the outcome of the auction process and fully support Mr. Zucker’s enhanced offer,” said president and CEO George Heller. “We are anxious to get to work with Mr. Zucker on realizing the value that we know is inherent in this great company.”

Zucker’s Maple Leaf Heritage Investments Acquisition Corp. boosted its previous all-cash takeover offer to $15.25 a share, or more than $1.06 billion, plus assumed debt. Hudson’s Bay had previously rejected as inadequate the firm’s initial offer of $14.75 per share plus debt.

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FINANCE

Coach Earnings Soar

BY CSA STAFF

New York City, Based on its strong second-quarter results, Coach Inc. is hotter than ever. For the three months ended Dec. 31, net income jumped 37.2% to $174.2 million or 45 cents a diluted share, from $126.9 million, or 32 cents a diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Sales rose 22.3% to $650.3 million from $531.8 million. Same-store retail sales increased 19.9% (with regular-priced same-store sales up 12.8%, and factory-outlet units up 30.2%).

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News

OfficeMax Adds Details to Plan

BY CSA STAFF

Itasca, Ill., OfficeMax’s major turnaround plan will cost about $100 million, the company said. OfficeMax intends to reverse losses and boost sales by focusing on three key areas: cutting costs, improving corporate infrastructure and turning around its retail and contract businesses. As previously announced, the plan includes shuttering 110 stores.

“This is a close to $10 billion company,” CFO Don Civgin said on a conference call. “The turnaround will take time, but we are confident that 2006 will show significant progress towards our intermediate-term goal.”

The company reported a net loss of $3.9 million in the third quarter ended Sept. 24.

The company’s retail initiatives include implementing merchandising strategies intended to expand the company’s small business customer base, growing Print and Document Services, driving incremental sales from the OfficeMax ink refill program, and improving category management. In retail, the company will also pursue cost-savings initiatives from store labor and management programs, as well as advertising and marketing-cost efficiencies.

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