Safeway adopts ‘poison pill’ to prevent takeover
Pleasanton, Calif. — Safeway Inc. announced that it has adopted a one-year stockholder rights plan, or a “poison pill,” to discourage an unfriendly takeover.
The company adopted the plan after it became aware that unnamed investors had accumulated “a significant amount” of its stock. The investor turned out to be hedge fund company Jana Partners, which disclosed in a filing that it has accumulated a 6.2% stake in the supermarket retailer.
Under the plan, Safeway will distribute one right to purchase preferred stock for every share of common stock owned as of Sept. 30. The rights would flood the market with additional shares if an outside investor accumulates more than 10% of its common stock, Safeway said.
Starbucks promotes CFO Alstead to group president of global biz
Starbucks has promoted CFO and chief administrative officer Troy Alstead to CFO and group president of the company’s global business services.
Alstead’s promotion is a result of his increasing responsibilities as well as an acknowledgment of the complexity of his role overseeing Starbucks global financial, technology and supply chain operations and ensuring that the company’s overall business infrastructure is optimized to support the company’s global growth.
“Under Troy’s leadership as CFO for the past five years, Starbucks has delivered an extraordinary experience to our customers as well as exceptional operating performance, financial results and returns for our shareholders,” said Starbucks chairman, president and CEO Howard Schultz. “Troy’s strategic business and financial acumen, discipline and leadership have been instrumental to our short- and long-term growth. As we continue to expand to new markets and channels, his role as group president leading Starbucks global business services will be critical to ensuring the company’s continued success.”
Alstead joined Starbucks in January 1992 when it was a privately held company with a little more than 100 stores. Through the years, he has held numerous roles in finance and general management for Starbucks, both domestic and international. He has held finance positions of increasing responsibility, including leadership of the corporate finance, accounting, tax and treasury functions, as well as leadership of global financial management, decision support, planning and business development for Starbucks operating units around the world.
Alstead was one of the original members of the Starbucks International team, contributing to the development of the international business from the beginning. Beyond his finance roles, he led the operations and development of the international business as SVP for Starbucks Coffee International, and later led the company’s business in Europe, Middle East and Africa as interim president of that regional business unit. Alstead later held the position of chief operating officer, Starbucks Greater China.
Toys’R’Us focuses on holiday season strategy following Q2 results
Toys”R”Us reported financial results for the second quarter ended Aug. 3 on the heels of a special event the retailer held at its flagship location in the heart of New York City’s Time Square and which detailed its initiatives as it prepares to tackle the holiday shopping season.
The retailer is still weathering the challenging economic climate; but despite a comparable store sales decrease for the quarter of 3.5% in the domestic segment and 3.8% in the international segment, comparable store net sales improved 490 basis points in the domestic segment and 200 basis points in the international segment compared to the prior-year quarter.
The overall decrease in comparable store net sales resulted primarily from decreases in the juvenile and entertainment categories, which include electronics, video game hardware and software.
Toys”R”Us interim CEO Antonio Urcelay is focusing on the comparable store sales improvement, particularly in light of the strategy the retailer plans to follow as the holiday season approaches.
“The team has been intensely focused on finalizing our plans for the upcoming holiday season to ensure we are well-positioned during the highly competitive months ahead,” said Urcelay. “We believe that the initiatives we have recently announced in the U.S., including an enhanced Price Match Guarantee and a comprehensive suite of programs to encourage early buying, in combination with our expertise in the identification and ownership of the hottest toys, will strongly appeal to consumers as they develop their holiday shopping lists.”
The company’s net sales were $2.4 billion, a decrease of $175 million or 6.9% versus the prior year. The decline in net sales for the quarter was primarily attributable to a decrease in comparable store net sales, as well as a foreign currency translation impact of $66 million.
Toys“R”Us sells merchandise in 877 Toys“R”Us and Babies“R”Us stores in the United States and Puerto Rico, and in more than 690 international stores and more than 170 licensed stores in 35 foreign countries and jurisdictions, as well as in corresponding e-commerce sites. In addition, it exclusively operates the FAO Schwarz brand and sells toys in the brand’s flagship store on Fifth Avenue in New York City.