OPERATIONS

QVC Germany CEO to retire

BY Dan Berthiaume

West Chester, Pa. – Dr. Ulrich Flatten will retire as CEO, QVC Germany at the end of the year, after 12 years of service to the company. Under his leadership, Germany has developed into QVC’s largest European business and its second largest business outside of the United States.

In the coming months, QVC will conduct a full search to name a new leader for QVC Germany and will consider internal and external candidates for the job. Beginning in early January, Steve Hofmann, CEO, QVC Europe, will take on an interim assignment as CEO, QVC Germany during the transition.

“QVC’s success in Germany is due in large part to Ulrich’s vision, commitment and determination," said QVC president and CEO Mike George. "He oversaw the opening of every major QVC site in Germany, including our call centers in Kassel and Bochum, our Huckelhoven distribution center, and our Düsseldorf headquarters, creating more than 2,000 jobs. He played an integral role in the launch of QVC Italy and has championed global initiatives in areas ranging from human resources to IT."

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FINANCE

L Brands prices $500 million in senior notes

BY Dan Berthiaume

Columbus, Ohio – The previously announced offering of $500 million aggregate principal amount of unsecured senior notes due 2023 from L Brands (formerly knows as Limited Brands) has priced at 100% of the aggregate principal amount with a coupon of 5.625%. The sale of the 2023 notes was underwritten by BofA Merrill Lynch, Citigroup Global Markets Inc. and J.P. Morgan Securities LLC as joint book-running managers.

The 2023 notes will be guaranteed by certain L Brands subsidiaries. The company intends to use proceeds from the offering, after the payment of fees and expenses, for repayment of its 5.25% senior unsecured notes due November 2014 at maturity and for general corporate purposes, including repayment of outstanding borrowings under its revolving credit facility to fund seasonal working capital, share repurchases and dividends.

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REAL ESTATE

Safeway to dispose of Dominick’s stores and exit Chicago market

BY Marianne Wilson

Pleasanton, Calif. — Safeway Inc. announced it plans to get rid of its 72 Dominick’s stores in the Chicago area, exiting the market in early 2014.

Safeway’s decision comes after Dominick’s had a net loss of $8.4 million for the third quarter, ended Sept. 7, compared with a loss of $6.2 million in the year-ago period, and a net loss of $21.5 million for the year to date, compared with $16.8 million for the year- ago period.

"The decision to sell Canada Safeway and to exit the Chicago market is consistent with Safeway’s priority of maximizing shareholder value," said Robert Edwards, president and CEO. "These actions will allow us to focus on improving and strengthening our core grocery business. We are continuing to review all of our businesses to optimize our allocation of resources, improve sales and grow operating profits."

Leaving Chicago is the latest strategic move for Safeway. In June 2013, the company announced that it entered into an agreement to sell its Canadian operations through a sale of substantially all of the net assets of CSL to Sobeys Inc., a Canadian food retailer and wholly-owned subsidiary of Empire Company Limited.

Safeway bought Dominick’s in 1998 for about $1.2 billion plus debt.

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