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Men’s Wearhouse rejects Jos. A. Bank offer, adopts rights plan

BY Dan Berthiaume

Fremont, Calif. – The Men’s Wearhouse has rejected the unsolicited proposal by Jos. A. Bank to acquire the company for $48 per share, or about $2.3 billion.

Men’s Wearhouse said in a press release that the offer significantly undervalues the company, is inadequate and not in the best interests of the company or its shareholders.

“After careful review and deliberation, our board of directors has determined that Jos. A. Bank’s proposal significantly undervalues Men’s Wearhouse and fails to reflect the company’s growth strategy and upside potential," said Bill Sechrest, lead director of the board. "We believe Jos. A. Bank’s unsolicited proposal is opportunistic, subject to unacceptable risks and contingencies, and would deprive our shareholders of the value inherent in Men’s Wearhouse for inadequate consideration."

The rejection sets the stage for a potential battle between two of the nation’s largest menswear retailers. Men’s Wearhouse has 1,137 stores, while Jos.A. Bank operates some 624 stores.

Men’s Wearhouse has also adopted a limited duration shareholder rights plan and declared a dividend of one right on each share of the company’s common stock. The rights generally will become exercisable and allow holders to acquire the company’s common stock at a discounted price if a person or group acquires beneficial ownership of 10% or more of Men’s Wearhouse common stock (15% in the case of a passive institutional investor) in a transaction not approved by the board of directors.

The rights plan expires on September 30, 2014 unless earlier redeemed, exchanged or terminated by the company. Men’s Wearhouse said the plan is not designed to prevent another buyout offer its board considers favorable.

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RadioShack opens two more new concept stores in NYC

BY CSA STAFF

RadioShack unveiled a store remodeled to its new high-touch format, in Manhattan, with an additional Big Apple location set to open on Oct. 12. The format incorporates interactive areas designed to help shoppers improve their technology profile. The chain premiered the design in July, on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.

Features of RadioShack’s updated design include:

Newly configured displays highlighting in-demand brands like Apple, HTC and Samsung, as well as mobile carriers such as AT&T, Sprint and Verizon;

Store fixtures that enable shoppers to find and compare products, including a “Speaker Wall” that allows customers to demo speakers by playing music from their own Bluetooth-enabled mobile devices;

Technology that makes shopping interesting and playful, like touchscreens and apps that help shoppers understand the benefits of products.

In addition to the Manhattan locations, RadioShack has also opened new concept locations in nearby Jersey City, N.J., and in Southampton on Long Island.

Radio Shack’s Manhattan Mall location was also remodeled this summer as one of its new, scalable "brand statement" stores, which feature many updates inspired by the spirit of the concept stores. The company plans to open or remodel a number of additional New York-area locations by the end of the year.

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Helen of Troy sees solid sales growth, but flat profits

BY CSA STAFF

Leading consumer products company Helen of Troy saw solid growth in all its business segments during the second quarter, which led to record sales of its stable of well known brands, but stagnant profits.
Sales increased 11.1% to $319 million during the quarter ended August 31, but profits were essentially flat at $23.3 million, or 72 cents a share, compared to $23 million, or 72 cents a share. Gross margins declined to 38.6% from 40.7% the prior year while expenses as a percent of sales declined to 29.1% from 30%.
“The period saw particular strength in our Healthcare/Home Environment segment, which produced a 20.4% increase in revenue benefiting from our refined promotion and marketing strategy and favorable weather conditions in Europe,” said Gerald J. Rubin, Helen of Troy chairman, president and CEO. “Innovation in product and design continues to be a positive driver for our Housewares segment leading to increases in shelf space, assortment expansion and new distribution. Finally, our Personal Care segment benefited from a new product distribution arrangement in Europe specific to the current fiscal year and increased sales in our professional appliance business.”
The company also noted that during the first week of September it began operations at a new 1.3 million square foot distribution facility in Mississippi.
Helen of Troy offers products in the housewares, healthcare/home environment and personal care segment under brand names such as OXO, Good Grips, Soft Works, Vicks, Braun, Honeywell, PUR, Febreze, Stinger, Duracraft, SoftHeat, Revlon®, Vidal Sassoon, Dr. Scholl’s, Pert, Brut and Bed Head. The company has licensing arrangement with global consumer companies such as Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Revlon and Honeywell.

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