FINANCE

Office Depot adopts poison pill defense

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Boca Raton, Fla. — Office Depot Inc. said Tuesday it has approved a poison pill defense to preclude investor Starboard Value LP from waging a takeover of the company.

The activist investor became the office-supply retailer’s largest shareholder last month and has begun pushing for changes.

The poison pill is a shareholder rights plan that would give its investors additional shares if one entity surpasses 15% ownership. Starboard owned 14.8% as of Oct. 12.

The poison pill is designed to protect all stockholders “against potential acquirers who may seek to take advantage of the company and its stockholders through coercive and unfair tactics aimed at gaining control of the company without paying all stockholders a full and fair price,” according to a statement by Office Depot.

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FINANCE

IIC-Intersport acquires 100% of The Athlete’s Foot

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Paris — A Tuesday report by Women’s Wear Daily said that sporting goods retailer IIC-Intersport International Corp. will acquire 100% of The Athlete’s Foot, expanding Intersport’s presence to 63 countries from its current 41.

“The Athlete’s Foot is an ideal complement to Intersport,” Intersport CEO Franz Julen told WWD. ”While we were in a strong global position especially in Europe, this acquisition allows us to move into the lucrative markets of the USA, Australia, Indonesia and New Zealand, take advantage of the potential of the emerging countries in South America.”

According to the report, IIC will establish an internal Athlete’s Foot Division, and continue to operate The Athlete’s Foot banner.

Financial terms reached with Athlete’s Foot parent Global Franchise Group have not been disclosed.

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Kate Spade completes acquisition of Kate Spade Japan

BY Katherine Boccaccio

New York — Fifth & Pacific Cos.-owned Kate Spade said Wednesday it has completed the acquisition of joint-venture partner Sanei International Co.’s 51% interest in Kate Spade Japan Co.

Kate Spade Japan was a joint venture that was formed between Sanei and Kate Spade in August 2009. Kate Spade Japan operated the Kate Spade and Jack Spade businesses in Japan, and Kate Spade will continue to operate the businesses in Japan though its Japanese subsidiary.

The purchase price was $47.6 million.

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