STORE SPACES

Starbucks expands Latin America footprint, to open in Columbia

BY Marianne Wilson

Seattle — Starbucks Coffee Company will enter the country of Columbia, opening a store in the first half of 2014 in Bogota. It will be operated through a joint venture between the company’s Latin American franchisee, Alsea, and the food company Grupo Nutresa.

Starbucks said it has "aggressive plans" to open locations in Bogota and other major cities throughout Colombia over the next five years.

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REAL ESTATE

Jones Lang LaSalle acquires Means Knaus Partners

BY Marianne Wilson

Chicago — Jones Lang LaSalle announced Monday it has acquired Means Knaus Partners, a Houston-based property management company as part of the firm’s expansion in third-party property management.

The deal boosts Jones Lang LaSalle’s portfolio of office space under management by 16 million sq. ft. of space with properties located primarily in Dallas, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Orlando, Fla., and Tampa, Fla.

“Our MKP colleagues bring deep expertise and strong client relationships to JLL, resulting in a powerful fit that will enhance the combined platform’s strength in key markets,” said John Gates, president of Jones Lang LaSalle’s National Real Estate Services. “Both JLL and MKP have impressive legacies in property management, and we both operate with a vested ownership mentality that will bring greater value to our clients.”

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News

JCP will soon be free of Bill Ackman

BY CSA STAFF

J.C. Penney filed a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission late Monday that would allow for activist investor Bill Ackman to unload his entire stake in the company via a secondary stock offering.

According to the J.C. Penney’s filing, Ackman and various Pershing Square investment vehicles he controls plan to sell roughly 39 million shares representing 17.7% of the company’s 220.5 million outstanding shares.

Ackman’s decision to sell his entire stake at once follows an earlier plan that was to involve a more gradual approach to divesting his position with multiple offerings. Ackman had accumulated a large stake in J.C. Penney several years earlier and agitated for a change in senior leadership thinking J.C. Penney was ripe for a transformation that would yield increased profitability and a higher valuation. His handpicked successor, former Apple retail executive Ron Johnson, pursued strategies that resulted in sales declines that had the company heading toward bankruptcy.

Johnson was ousted earlier this year and J.C. Penney brought back Myron Ullman as interim CEO, a move that displeased Ackman who engaged in a public show of his disapproval that the company wasn’t moving fast enough to locate a permanent replacement for Johnson. Shortly thereafter Ackman decided to relinquish his seat on the board.

Based on Monday’s closing price of $13.35, Ackman’s stake in J.C. Penney is valued at $522 million.

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