FINANCE

Report: Barnes & Noble Eyeing Borders

BY CSA STAFF

New York City Barnes & Noble is looking into a possible bid for competitor Borders Group, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

Barnes & Noble has put together a team of executives and advisers to look into the possible acquisition, the report said.

Borders said in March that it might sell itself as it has struggled with liquidity and economic issues that have cut into customers’ discretionary spending.

According to The Wall Street Journal, 30 people, including strategic buyers and private-equity firms, have either signed confidentiality agreements or are in talks to sign agreements so they can look at a bid for Borders.

A Borders spokeswoman said the company would not comment on its strategic-alternatives process.

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Stobb named investor relations head at Goodyear

BY CSA STAFF

AKRON, Ohio The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. announced that Patrick Stobb has joined the company as director of investor relations. Stobb will report to Darren Wells, Goodyear’s senior vp of finance and strategy.

Prior to joining Goodyear, Stobb was director of investor relations for TRW Automotive Holdings since 2003. He also held a variety of investor relations and finance positions with the Visteon from 2000 to 2003 and the Ford Motor Co. from 1997 to 2000.

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Mervyns to open new stores, launch Web site

BY CSA STAFF

HAYWARD, Calif. Mervyns said it plans to open five new stores in its core markets in 2009. This brings the total number of new Mervyns stores to 17 since the company was acquired by its private equity owners three years ago, and reflects its commitment to maintaining a dominant real estate position in California and the Southwest. Concurrently, Mervyns reported it has engaged DJM Realty, LLC, one of the nation’s leading real estate advisory firms, to sell 5-10 underperforming, but high real-estate-value, stores. The real estate portfolio transition is expected to generate $25 to $50 million in cash to fund operations and new growth initiatives.

The company also announced it will launch a fully integrated e-commerce Web site in the fourth quarter of 2008.  Mervyns said the e-commerce Web site presents a new growth vehicle and multi-channel opportunity for existing and new customers nationwide, and forecasts that the online platform could quickly grow into a $50 million business. Mervyns will partner with a nationally recognized provider of turnkey order entry and fulfillment services in launching its Web site.

Ceo John Goodman commented, “We have a plan that centers around our consumer and her needs, and we are putting the capital and people resources behind it to not only overcome the current difficult retail climate, but to gain market share and reinvigorate the Mervyns brand.”

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