FINANCE

RadioShack obtains $835M in financing

BY Dan Berthiaume

Fort Worth, Texas – RadioShack has completed a new financing totaling $835 million. That figure includes a $535 million credit facility led by GE Capital, Corporate Retail Finance and a $250 million secured term loan led by Salus Capital Partners, LLC.

This comprehensive new financing will be used to refinance existing debt and provide approximately $200 million of incremental liquidity, which Radio Shack says will help strengthen its balance sheet as it continues plans for an operational turnaround. Radio Shack now has approximately $625 million dollars of debt outstanding. Peter J. Solomon Company acted as financial advisor to RadioShack on the new financing.

"In July, we outlined the five pillars of our turnaround plan: reposition the brand, revamp the product assortment, reinvigorate the store experience, operational efficiency and financial flexibility,” said Joseph C. Magnacca, CEO. “This new financing fulfills the last pillar and provides the financial flexibility and ample runway to turn this business around. We are pleased to have a consortium of leading finance companies partner with us and participate in this new financing.”

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OPERATIONS

Vitamin Shoppe files trademark suit

BY Dan Berthiaume

North Bergen, N.J. – Vitamin Shoppe has announced that on Nov. 21, 2013 it filed suit against law firm Seeger Weiss LLP in New York federal court. Vitamin Shoppe argues that Seeger Weiss is infringing on the company’s trademarks on a website designed to solicit plaintiffs for a class-action lawsuit over alleged misrepresentations related to its Bodytech protein supplements and is being harmed by unauthorized use of its trademarks.

Vitamin Shoppe is asking for a permanent injunction against further use of its trademarks, damages, and transfer of the registration of the Vitaminshoppeprotein.com domain to the company, as well as costs and attorney fees.

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REAL ESTATE

Online retailer Respect Your Universe to open its first store

BY Dan Berthiaume

Portland, Ore. – The online active lifestyle apparel retailer Respect Your Universe has signed a five year lease with General Growth Properties Inc. to open its initial flagship store in downtown Seattle at Westlake Center. The retailer has partnered with Los Angeles-based architect and retail strategist Richard Altuna to design the 2,082-sq.-ft. flagship store.

RYU anticipates that the store will open in late December 2013 to capture a portion of holiday sales and will undergo transition into the full flagship design in time for the grand opening in late March, 2014.

The company’s near -expansion plan includes an outlet store which is currently in the final stages of negotiations and is expected to open in early 2014. In addition, RYU has begun discussion with another premium mall landlord for a second flagship store with a target opening in the first half of 2014.

"This is a milestone for RYU as it demonstrates GGP’s belief in our new retail concept in a location that generates significant retail traffic,” said CEO Craig Brod. “This marks a milestone step in our efforts to reposition our brand and to execute our retail expansion strategy."

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