OPERATIONS

South Africa to let antitrust regulators decide Massmart acquisition conditions

BY Staff Writer

Cape Town, South Africa — A Tuesday report by Bloomberg said that South Africa’s parliament will let anti-trust regulators decide what conditions to impose on Wal-Mart Stores in its acquisition of Massmart Holdings Ltd.

The Competition Tribunal ruled on May 31 that Wal-Mart could proceed with its $2.4 billion purchase of a controlling stake in Johannesburg-based wholesaler Massmart on condition no jobs are cut for two years.

The tribunal’s decision is being appealed by the South African Commercial, Catering and Allied Workers Union in the Competition Appeal Court.

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OPERATIONS

Big Lots completes Liquidation World purchase, makes exec appointments

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Columbus, Ohio — Big Lots announced Tuesday that it has completed its acquisition of Brantford, Ontario-based Liquidation World, representing Big Lots’ first foothold outside of the United States.

Closeout retailer Liquidation World currently operates 89 stores in Canada.

"Today we have taken a significant step forward in positioning Big Lots for sustainable long-term growth as we expand beyond our borders and enter the Canadian marketplace,” said Steve Fishman, chairman, CEO and president of Big Lots. “We now have an immediate footprint in Canada with 89 stores, an existing infrastructure, and a dedicated team of over 1,000 associates at Liquidation World and we welcome them to the Big Lots family.”

Big Lots announced two executive-level appointments in conjunction with the acquisition. Joe R. Cooper has been named president of Big Lots Canada while retaining his responsibilities as executive VP and CFO of Big Lots.

Timothy A. Johnson has been promoted to senior VP finance and appointed to the company’s executive committee.

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FINANCE

Borders seeks to liquidate, close all 399 stores

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Ann Arbor, Mich. — Borders Group, which had been holding out hope that a buyer would come forward to save the company, said late Monday it will seek court approval Thursday for a liquidation led by Hilco Merchant Resources and Gordon Brothers Group.

The bookseller said that, with approval by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court of the Southern District of New York, it could begin shuttering its 399 remaining stores as early as Friday, and it is expected to go out of business for good by the end of September.

"Following the best efforts of all parties, we are saddened by this development," said Borders president Mike Edwards in a statement. "We were all working hard toward a different outcome, but the head winds we have been facing for quite some time, including the rapidly changing book industry, e-reader revolution and turbulent economy, have brought us to where we are now."

Borders’s best chance to stay in business fell apart last week when the $215 million bid by private-equity investor Jahm Najafi dissolved and the chain was unable to find other potential buyers to keep it alive.

It now faces 399 store closings and putting nearly 11,000 people out of work. Borders said it does expect to be able to pay vendors for all expenses incurred during the bankruptcy cases.

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