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Loblaw expands use of Precima

BY Dan Berthiaume

Toronto, Canada — Loblaw Companies Ltd. and LoyaltyOne’s Precima merchandising/marketing solutions provider are renewing and expanding their long-term engagement. Precima has been working with Loblaw for a number of years with a focus on developing and executing customer-centric merchandising and marketing strategies.

The collaboration is designed to help Loblaw better understand its customers and incorporate these insights into key business decisions with the goal of enriching the shopping experience. Further, through the Loblaw TopShelf Portal, powered by Precima, custom reports have been made available to vendors to drive immediate and actionable insights.

"At Loblaw, we believe in the need to speak to the individual,” said Uwe Stueckmann, senior VP, marketing, Loblaw. “Our work with Precima allows us to do so and to provide innovative programs that are relevant and personalized to our customers. We’re looking forward to continuing our engagement with Precima and leading the path in customer-centricity."

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Men’s Wearhouse extends Jos. A. Bank deadline to June 19

BY Dan Berthiaume

Fremont, Calif. — The Men’s Wearhouse has extended its all-cash tender offer for $65 per share for all of the currently outstanding shares of common stock (including associated stock purchase rights) of Jos. A. Bank to June 19, 2014, unless further amended. The tender offer was previously set to expire on June 5, 2014.

The Men’s Wearhouse plans to issue an aggregate principal amount of up to $600 million of senior notes due 2022 in a private offering and use the net proceeds from this offering of senior notes to pay a portion of the approximately $1.8 billion purchase price for Jos. A. Bank.

As of June 5, 2014, approximately 25 million shares of Jos. A. Bank common stock have been validly tendered in, and not withdrawn from the tender offer. BofA Merrill Lynch and J.P. Morgan Securities LLC are serving as financial advisors to Men’s Wearhouse, and Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP is serving as legal advisor.

The Men’s Wearhouse board of directors has also amended and restated the company’s bylaws to modify the voting standard required for shareholders to amend bylaws from 66-2/3% to a majority of Men’s Wearhouse’s outstanding voting stock.

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Panera launches three-year share repurchase program

BY Dan Berthiaume

St. Louis — The Panera Bread Company board of directors has approved a new three-year share repurchase program of up to $600 million. This new program will replace an existing program which was scheduled to expire on Aug. 23, 2015 and has been terminated by the board of directors in connection with approving the new program.

The repurchases will be effected from time to time. The share repurchase program and the board’s authorization of the program may be modified, suspended, or discontinued at any time.

"We continue to look for opportunities to deploy our capital to drive shareholder returns,” said Ron Shaich, founder, chairman and CEO. “While investing in our core business remains our number one priority, the board’s willingness to extend and refresh the repurchase program is a vote of confidence on the growth potential of Panera and its ability to generate long-term profit growth and appropriate returns for our shareholders."

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