FINANCE

Sears completes Lands’ End spinoff

BY Dan Berthiaume

Hoffman Estates, Ill. — Sears Holdings Corporation completed its spin-off of Lands’ End Inc. on April 4. The specialty apparel company has now been separated from Sears Holdings and its common stock is expected to begin regular-way trading on the Nasdaq Capital Market under the symbol "LE" on April 7.

In the spin-off, Sears Holdings distributed a total of approximately 32 million shares of Lands’ End common stock to the holders of Sears Holdings common stock as of March 24, 2014, the record date. In addition, as part of the spin-off, Lands’ End entered into an asset-based senior secured revolving credit facility, which provides for maximum borrowings of approximately $175 million with a letter of credit sub-limit, and a senior secured term loan facility of approximately $515 million.

The proceeds of the term loan facility were used to pay the $500 million dividend to the Sears Holdings subsidiary and to pay fees and expenses of approximately $10 million, with the remaining proceeds to be used by Lands’ End for general corporate purposes.

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FINANCE

Leading India political party will ban foreign supermarket investment

BY Dan Berthiaume

Mumbai, India – Leading Indian political party Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said in its official election manifesto that it will ban all foreign direct investment into the Indian supermarket sector if it wins a majority stake in the upcoming parliamentary election. BJP is widely expected to take majority control of parliament and the prime minister seat in India’s May 2014 elections.

However, BJP will most likely need to form a coalition government, which could require the party to soften or change its stance against foreign direct investment in domestic supermarkets, which is supported by small local grocery retailers. BJP has said it will allow foreign direct investment in other business sectors. Media reports indicate Wal-Mart temporarily halted its India expansion plans in February 2014, presumably to see how the parliamentary elections turn out.

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FINANCE

Berkshire Partners forms partnership with former Urban Outfitters exec Glen Senk

BY Dan Berthiaume

Boston — Berkshire Partners LLC, the Boston-based investment firm, and Glen T. Senk, a New York-based retail and consumer executive, are partnering to co-invest in innovative, high-growth retail and consumer businesses. Berkshire Partners has initially committed $350 million to future investments alongside Senk and his newly formed firm, Front Row Partners LLC, where he serves as chairman and CEO.

Prior to forming Front Row Partners, Senk served as CEO of David Yurman and, prior to that, as CEO of Urban Outfitters. He also held senior executive positions at Anthropologie, Williams-Sonoma, Habitat, and Bloomingdale’s. Senk serves on the board of directors of Melissa & Doug, and previously served on the boards of Bare Escentuals, cooking.com, David Yurman, Tory Burch, and Urban Outfitters.

"I could not have found a more complementary partner than Berkshire Partners for this new venture," Senk said. "They are an exceptional group of people with tremendous integrity and deep experience investing in the consumer space. Front Row Partners will benefit immensely from having access to the talent and resources that Berkshire can provide.”

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