FINANCE

Yankee Candle to be acquired in $1.75 billion deal

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Yankee Candle has agreed to be acquired by global consumer products company Jarden Corp. for $1.75 billion in cash from its private equity owner Madison Dearborn Partners. Yankee Candle, based in South Deerfield, Mass., operates about 575 stores in the United States and Canada.

Madison Dearborn bought Yankee Candle in 2007 for $1.4 billion cash and the assumption of $300 million in debt.

“The iconic Yankee Candle brand is a natural extension of our existing portfolio and of our branded consumables business segment,” said Jarden founder and executive chairman Martin Franklin. “As a successful, well-managed and well-invested business, Yankee Candle is a solid platform for us to leverage our proven, time-tested and portable brand-building approach and to drive additional value through investments in brand equity, product development and innovation."

Harlan M. Kent, Yankee Candle’s president and CEO, added: "This is a transformative milestone for Yankee Candle. Over the past 40 years, we have built a truly iconic brand with a deeply loyal customer base. Jarden is well known as a stable, long-term owner of businesses, and this will provide us with a perfect platform on which to grow. This acquisition provides us with the resources and scale necessary to drive our future success and will further strengthen our existing product development and distribution capabilities.”

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FINANCE

Bebe slides to loss

BY Marianne Wilson

Brisbane, Calif. — Bebe Stores Inc. reported a loss for its fourth quarter amid weaker sales and markdowns.

The apparel chain posted a loss of $20.8 million for the three-month period ended July 6, compared with net income of $3 million in the fourth quarter last year.

Bebe’s total revenue edged down to $119.2 million, from $131.5 million.

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News

Lowe’s picks former GE exec to lead LBM divisions

BY CSA STAFF

Lowe’s has appointed Michael P. McDermott to the newly created position of SVP and general merchandising manager-building and maintenance.

McDermott will be responsible for the Lumber & Building Materials, Millwork, Hardware & Tools and Rough Plumbing & Electrical divisions. He will report to chief merchandising officer Michael A. Jones.

McDermott joins Lowe’s from General Electric, where he served most recently as sales leader-appliances and was also a member of the company’s corporate commercial council. He has more than 20 years of experience in product leadership, merchandising, marketing and commercial sales.

“Mike’s experience leading merchandising for GE’s multi-billion dollar appliance business as well as organizations that sell into the building and maintenance space, will bring added value to Lowe’s merchandising team,” explained Jones. “He understands the importance of brand management, strong relationships with vendor-partners and how to lead teams — skills which will help Lowe’s continue to improve product assortment to better serve do-it-yourself and pro customers alike.”

In his new role, McDermott will work with Troy J. Dally, SVP and general merchandising manager- seasonal and Clint T. Davis, SVP and general merchandising manager-home décor. McDermott earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from the College of New Jersey and a master’s degree in political science from Villanova University.

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