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‘Living wage’ sent to D.C. mayor

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — A controversial bill requiring Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and other large retailers to pay their employees a "living wage" of at least $12.50 an hour has been sent to District of Columbia Mayor Vincent Gray.

The mayor has 10 business days, starting Tuesday, to either sign or veto the bill, which was passed by the D.C. Council at the beginning of July.

Wal-Mart Stores is among the retailers opposing the bill. The retailer has said it won’t build three of the six stores it has planned for the district if the bill becomes law.

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Yankee Candle to be acquired in $1.75 billion deal

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Yankee Candle has agreed to be acquired by global consumer products company Jarden Corp. for $1.75 billion in cash from its private equity owner Madison Dearborn Partners. Yankee Candle, based in South Deerfield, Mass., operates about 575 stores in the United States and Canada.

Madison Dearborn bought Yankee Candle in 2007 for $1.4 billion cash and the assumption of $300 million in debt.

“The iconic Yankee Candle brand is a natural extension of our existing portfolio and of our branded consumables business segment,” said Jarden founder and executive chairman Martin Franklin. “As a successful, well-managed and well-invested business, Yankee Candle is a solid platform for us to leverage our proven, time-tested and portable brand-building approach and to drive additional value through investments in brand equity, product development and innovation."

Harlan M. Kent, Yankee Candle’s president and CEO, added: "This is a transformative milestone for Yankee Candle. Over the past 40 years, we have built a truly iconic brand with a deeply loyal customer base. Jarden is well known as a stable, long-term owner of businesses, and this will provide us with a perfect platform on which to grow. This acquisition provides us with the resources and scale necessary to drive our future success and will further strengthen our existing product development and distribution capabilities.”

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Bebe slides to loss

BY Marianne Wilson

Brisbane, Calif. — Bebe Stores Inc. reported a loss for its fourth quarter amid weaker sales and markdowns.

The apparel chain posted a loss of $20.8 million for the three-month period ended July 6, compared with net income of $3 million in the fourth quarter last year.

Bebe’s total revenue edged down to $119.2 million, from $131.5 million.

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