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Serious Interest in Toys

BY CSA STAFF

Wayne, N.J., Toys “R” Us generated interest from a small group of bidders – down from about a dozen — who are interested in a buyout of the Wayne, N.J.-based company’s toy business, Reuters reported. Private equity company’s Apollo and Permira are expected to team with the toy chain’s former CEO Michael Goldstein with one bid. Toys “R” Us intends to sell its toy operations and focus on its faster-growing Babies R Us division.

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Big 5 Sporting Goods Posts 4Q Increase

BY CSA STAFF

El Segundo, Calif., Big 5 Sporting Goods reported that net sales for the fourth quarter increased 13.4% to $217.6 million from $191.8 million for the corresponding period a year ago. Same-store sales for the quarter rose 2.6%.

Full-year net sales increased 9.8% to $778.9 million from $709.7 million in fiscal 2003, and same-store sales increased 3.5%.

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More Trouble at OfficeMax

BY CSA STAFF

Itasca, Ill., OfficeMax, the third-largest office-products retailer, lost CFO Brian Anderson, who resigned after holding the top financial post at the chain for just two months. The company offered no elaboration on his departure, but said former CFO Ted Crumley will return to the company and fill the post on an interim basis during a search for a long-term replacement.

The company also will delay the company’s earnings release for the fourth quarter while it completes an internal investigation of possible accounting irregularities. The company cut its forecast for fiscal 2004 performance about three weeks ago.

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