FINANCE

J.C. Penney, Ackman set terms whereby he can sell stake

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — J. C. Penney disclosed in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing on Friday that it entered into a Registration Rights Agreement with Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square and its affiliates that gives him an out to completely walk away from the company. Under the deal, Ackman can make up to four requests to Penney to register the sale of his restricted common stock.

"It is paving the way for (Pershing Square) to sell the stock if they choose to do so," Imperial Capital analyst Mary Ross Gilbert said in a Reuters report.

Ackman, whose firm owns about 18% of Penney, resigned from the board earlier this week. His resignation came on the heels of a heated public battle with the board, which saw him call not only for a quick replacement for interim CEO Myron Ullman but also for a new chairman. The billionaire investor has not said publicly what he plans to do with his shares.

Penney is set to release its second quarter results on Aug. 20.

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Email delivery services provider names e-commerce exec as CEO

BY CSA STAFF

LAS VEGAS — SMTP, Inc., a global provider of email delivery services, has appointed Jon Strimling as CEO of the company.

"Jon is a proven executive and entrepreneur, with a track record of driving revenue and earnings growth," stated Semyon Dukach, chairman of SMTP. "His deep experience in operations, marketing and e-commerce will prove invaluable as he leads SMTP through its next phase of growth."

Strimling has 20 years of experience as an executive and entrepreneur, largely focused on the commercialization of innovative products and services. He previously served as CEO of US Dynamics, a technology commercialization firm that spun out three new ventures during his tenure, including online retailer WoodPellets.com. As CEO of WoodPellets.com, Strimling is credited with growing revenue nearly 400% annually for two consecutive years.

Previously, Strimling served in a variety of senior operational, technical and financial roles with DEKA Research & Development, American Industrial Partners and General Electric. He has served as an active board member with American Biomass Corporation and UltraCell Insulation, and was a governor’s appointee to the Economic Strategy Commission for the State of New Hampshire.

"SMTP has successfully built a diverse customer base and a robust platform that has led to a history of profitable growth," said Strimling. "Leveraging that foundation, we see significant opportunities ahead to further capitalize on the growing e-mail delivery sector. Through improved operations, expanded sales and marketing initiatives, and ongoing product development efforts, I strongly believe we can generate ongoing shareholder value improvement."

Strimling is a graduate of MIT’s Leaders for Global Operations program, through which he earned dual master’s of science degrees in management and mechanical engineering.

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Von Maur adds Brooks Brothers to brands portfolio

BY CSA STAFF

DAVENPORT, Iowa — Von Maur has partnered with Brooks Brothers to sell the brand in its stores, making the retailer the second department store in the nation to carry the exclusive line.

The Brooks Brothers line will be available in six stores in fall 2013, and will expand to 13 in spring 2014.

The initial offering includes men’s furnishings and tailored clothing, as well as casual men’s sportswear, women’s sportswear and childrenswear. The assortment features signature items such as non-iron dress shirts, finely tailored suits, ties and accessories. Casual menswear, womenswear, and children’s offerings include knits and hand-woven sweaters.

"Brooks Brothers’ long-time commitment to quality, personal service and product value is reminiscent of the traditions and values Von Maur has upheld for more than 140 years," said Jim von Maur, president of Von Maur. "Customers know Von Maur for our first-in-fashion, high-quality merchandise. Our partnership with Brooks Brothers is an exciting opportunity for two venerable brands to come together to reach new customers as well as continue to impress our long-standing shoppers with new offerings."

Brooks Brothers joins Kate Spade, Coach, Hugo Boss and Eileen Fisher in the department store’s brand portfolio.

Von Maur is a family-owned company which currently operates 27 stores in 11 states, as well as an e-commerce site. The company also runs a new chain of women’s specialty stores under the nameplate Dry Goods.

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