Payless will begin to shutter its U.S. stores Sunday

Payless ShoeSource will begin to close its U.S. stores on Sunday, a spokesperson for the shoe retailer told CNBC in a statement. The retailer will begin liquidation sales for its U.S. stores on Feb 17. It expects all stores to remain open until at least the end of March and the majority until May. In hopes of keeping some stores open, it had been seeking to find a buyer for swaths of its real estate across the U.S.Payless currently has more than 2,700 North American stores, according to its webs


Payless ShoeSource will begin to close its U.S. stores on Sunday, a spokesperson for the shoe retailer told CNBC in a statement. The retailer will begin liquidation sales for its U.S. stores on Feb 17. It expects all stores to remain open until at least the end of March and the majority until May. In hopes of keeping some stores open, it had been seeking to find a buyer for swaths of its real estate across the U.S.Payless currently has more than 2,700 North American stores, according to its webs
Payless will begin to shutter its U.S. stores Sunday Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-02-15  Authors: lauren hirsch, daniel acker, bloomberg, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, website, open, retailer, winding, payless, bankruptcy, spokesperson, begin, stores, liquidation, american, shutter


Payless will begin to shutter its U.S. stores Sunday

Payless ShoeSource will begin to close its U.S. stores on Sunday, a spokesperson for the shoe retailer told CNBC in a statement.

The retailer will begin liquidation sales for its U.S. stores on Feb 17. It is also winding down its e-commerce operations. It expects all stores to remain open until at least the end of March and the majority until May.

CNBC previously reported the chain was preparing for a potentially imminent bankruptcy. In hopes of keeping some stores open, it had been seeking to find a buyer for swaths of its real estate across the U.S.

Payless currently has more than 2,700 North American stores, according to its website. The liquidation will not impact its franchised or Latin American stores, the spokesperson said.

Payless, which first filed for bankruptcy protection in April 2017, had been notable for its ability to emerge from bankruptcy, a feat many retailers, like Toys R US, have been unable to achieve. Still, several of its peers, like Gymboree, have emerged from bankruptcy only to boomerang back.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-02-15  Authors: lauren hirsch, daniel acker, bloomberg, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, website, open, retailer, winding, payless, bankruptcy, spokesperson, begin, stores, liquidation, american, shutter


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Millennial brides force David’s Bridal, fresh out of bankruptcy, to try something new

David’s Bridal already has something old: 60 years in the bridal industry. Now, David’s Bridal is looking to conquer the new bridal landscape even as the $2.4 billion bridal-wear industry declines along with the marriage rate. Those investments include Blue Print Registry, which David’s Bridal acquired last year, giving it technology to help brides plan their registry, import registries from other retailers and register for cash. It is evaluating other ways to help brides streamline wedding plan


David’s Bridal already has something old: 60 years in the bridal industry. Now, David’s Bridal is looking to conquer the new bridal landscape even as the $2.4 billion bridal-wear industry declines along with the marriage rate. Those investments include Blue Print Registry, which David’s Bridal acquired last year, giving it technology to help brides plan their registry, import registries from other retailers and register for cash. It is evaluating other ways to help brides streamline wedding plan
Millennial brides force David’s Bridal, fresh out of bankruptcy, to try something new Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-02-13  Authors: lauren hirsch, jeenah moon, bloomberg, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, second, millennial, bankruptcy, retailer, fresh, try, bridal, stores, force, davids, retailers, brides, dresses, help


Millennial brides force David's Bridal, fresh out of bankruptcy, to try something new

David’s Bridal already has something old: 60 years in the bridal industry. Now, having emerged from three months in bankruptcy proceedings, it is trying something new as start-up competition and millennial brides upend its market.

The retailer filed for bankruptcy in November, saddled in debt that partially stemmed from its $1.05 billion sale to private equity firm Clayton Dubilier & Rice in 2012. It emerged from bankruptcy in January, a quick in-and-out made easier after its lenders and equity investors agreed on a new structure.

“We are very happy to be on the other side of it,” Chief Executive Officer Scott Key told CNBC.

Now, David’s Bridal is looking to conquer the new bridal landscape even as the $2.4 billion bridal-wear industry declines along with the marriage rate. Newer online retailers like Reformation offer brides more relaxed alternatives to traditional gowns. Online retailers like Jasmine Bridal are making their own wedding dresses and selling them for less than gowns sold in stores in the past.

Millennials are also marrying later — though later weddings could lead to more expensive affairs.

“We are making significant investments in improving our overall customer experience,” said Key.

Those investments include Blue Print Registry, which David’s Bridal acquired last year, giving it technology to help brides plan their registry, import registries from other retailers and register for cash. It unveiled a new commercial in January that reminded brides “most importantly, something you.” It is working with its in-house alteration team to help brides customize and personalize their dresses. It is evaluating other ways to help brides streamline wedding planning.

It is also offering more dresses in a broader array of sizes, while making certain dresses available at more price points. It lowered prices of many of its best-selling bridesmaid dresses.

One significant change not in the works is cutting away at its store base. Unlike many retailers that enter bankruptcy to help get rid of bad leases and trim their footprint, David’s Bridal emerged with roughly the same 300 or so stores it had across the U.S., Canada, U.K. and in Mexico, through franchise owners. It continues to add to its footprint in Canada, opening up a store in Vaughan, Ontario, last month. It has two stores owned by franchisees in Mexico, with two more in the works.

Barring the occasional exception, most David’s Bridal stores are profitable, said Key.

The retailer is also hoping to avert another trend marked by other bankrupt retailers: a second trip back to bankruptcy court. Gymboree filed for the second time earlier this year, while Payless is planning its own potential second trip into bankruptcy court, CNBC has reported, though those plans could still be averted.

While credit ratings agency S&P has said it sees positive signs for the retailer with its “significantly reduced balance sheet debt and a still fairly well-recognized brand name,” it has also raised some potential pitfalls. S&P said the bridal retail landscape remains challenging, and there is “execution risk” associated with David’s Bridal’s new strategies.

Key, though, says he remains confident, in part due to its continuing hold in the bridal market and the changes the company expects to implement.

Out of bankruptcy “we can return to what we do well: servicing one in three brides in the market place,” said Key.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-02-13  Authors: lauren hirsch, jeenah moon, bloomberg, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, second, millennial, bankruptcy, retailer, fresh, try, bridal, stores, force, davids, retailers, brides, dresses, help


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Toys R Us tries for a comeback a year after going out of business

Some former Toys R Us executives are looking to bring back the iconic retailer — Geoffrey the Giraffe and all. Toys R Us liquidated its business last year, unable to emerge from bankruptcy after a crippling 2017 holiday season. Tru Kids is headquartered in Parsippanny, New Jersey, a 20 minute drive from Toys R Us’ former headquarters in the town of Wayne. Its focus will be on growing the Toys R Us name in the United States. Still, to be successful, Toys R Us will need to win over toymakers, many


Some former Toys R Us executives are looking to bring back the iconic retailer — Geoffrey the Giraffe and all. Toys R Us liquidated its business last year, unable to emerge from bankruptcy after a crippling 2017 holiday season. Tru Kids is headquartered in Parsippanny, New Jersey, a 20 minute drive from Toys R Us’ former headquarters in the town of Wayne. Its focus will be on growing the Toys R Us name in the United States. Still, to be successful, Toys R Us will need to win over toymakers, many
Toys R Us tries for a comeback a year after going out of business Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-02-11  Authors: lauren hirsch, andrew harrer, bloomberg, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, unable, comeback, business, stores, toy, kids, toys, tries, tru, going, barry, company


Toys R Us tries for a comeback a year after going out of business

Some former Toys R Us executives are looking to bring back the iconic retailer — Geoffrey the Giraffe and all.

Toys R Us liquidated its business last year, unable to emerge from bankruptcy after a crippling 2017 holiday season. Its lenders, including Solus Alternative Asset Management and the Angelo Gordon investment firm, took control of the company’s intellectual property, which include the Toys R Us, Babies R Us and Geoffrey brand names.

As of Jan. 20, several former Toys R US executives began running run a company called “Tru Kids” to manage those brands, said Richard Barry, new president of Tru Kids and former chief merchandising officer of Toys R Us.

Tru Kids is headquartered in Parsippanny, New Jersey, a 20 minute drive from Toys R Us’ former headquarters in the town of Wayne. Other employees include former Toys R Us and Babies R Us workers, though it will be a “much tighter team overall” than than those employed by its predecessor, Barry said.

Its vice chairman will be Yehuda Shmidman, former CEO of Sequential Brands, the brand licensing company that runs labels like Martha Stewart Living and The Jessica Simpson Collection.

The full business plan for Tru Kid is still a work in progress, Barry told CNBC. The new company is exploring multiple options, including stand-alone stores, pop-up shops or partnership like the one Solus and Angelo Gordon previously explored with Kroger. When asked whether Tru Kids would partner with Amazon, Barry said he would “not take anything off the table at all.”

Its focus will be on growing the Toys R Us name in the United States. Globally, the brand continues operations across 900 stores, generating more than $3 billion in overall retail sales in 2018.

“The U.S. is the biggest toy market in the world,” said Barry. “Fundamentally, this is the place where the business began [with] Charles Lazarus.” Lazarus, Toys R Us’ founder, died at age 94, shortly after the company liquidated.

Tru Kids will look to avoid some of the pitfalls that brought down its predecessor. Unlike Toys R Us, which was criticized for failing to invest in its stores and digital strategy, Tru Kids will put an emphasis on technology, in-store experiences and customer service, Barry said.

Still, to be successful, Toys R Us will need to win over toymakers, many of which had fractured relations with Toys R Us following its U.S. demise. During its bankruptcy, the retailer had continued to order toys throughout its abysmal holiday season. When it liquidated, vendors like crayon maker Crayola weren’t paid in full and lost money.

“We fully appreciate the impact the bankruptcy had on our vendor partners, and fact that it left our vendors impaired,” said Barry. Although they were upset, Barry said toymakers “recognize the value” Toys R Us brought to the industry.

This Christmas, the first without Toys R Us, toy sales fell 2 percent, according to market researcher NPD Group. Efforts by Target, Walmart, Amazon and drug stores to expand their toy sections didn’t fully replace lost Toys R Us sales, with still far fewer shelves showcasing toys in 2018 than years prior. NPD’s figures imply that retailers were able to recapture about 35 percent of the market share, according to Jefferies analyst Stephanie Wissink.

Shares of Hasbro dropped as much as 10 percent on Friday, when its missed its estimates by a wide margin because it was unable to recapture as much of the Toys R US business as it anticipated.

But even if Target, Walmart and Amazon were unable to fully replace Toys R Us, they continue to have one strong weapon in their arsenal: the ability to compete on price. Big box stores helped drive Toys R Us’ downfall by slashing toy prices to draw shoppers into the stores, hoping they would spend money on more profitable products like TVs, washing machines and other hard goods.

“If you bring differentiation, you can find that price can be neutralized to a significant degree,” said Barry. “But price will always be factor.”


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-02-11  Authors: lauren hirsch, andrew harrer, bloomberg, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, unable, comeback, business, stores, toy, kids, toys, tries, tru, going, barry, company


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Payless ShoeSource prepares for bankruptcy that could come within weeks, plans store closures

Payless ShoeSource is preparing for its second bankruptcy, which could come as soon as within two weeks, a person familiar with the situation tells CNBC. Payless filed for bankruptcy protection in April 2017 and closed nearly 400 stores. Bloomberg first reported Payless’ bankruptcy plan. If a filing were to occur, Payless would be the latest in a string of retailers to emerge from bankruptcy protection, only to boomerang back. Children’s apparel brand Gymboree recently filed for its second bankr


Payless ShoeSource is preparing for its second bankruptcy, which could come as soon as within two weeks, a person familiar with the situation tells CNBC. Payless filed for bankruptcy protection in April 2017 and closed nearly 400 stores. Bloomberg first reported Payless’ bankruptcy plan. If a filing were to occur, Payless would be the latest in a string of retailers to emerge from bankruptcy protection, only to boomerang back. Children’s apparel brand Gymboree recently filed for its second bankr
Payless ShoeSource prepares for bankruptcy that could come within weeks, plans store closures Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-02-08  Authors: lauren hirsch, jessica bursztynsky, daniel acker, bloomberg, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, stores, prepares, closures, bankruptcy, filed, shoesource, second, weeks, north, store, protection, come, filing, buyers, payless, person, plans


Payless ShoeSource prepares for bankruptcy that could come within weeks, plans store closures

Payless ShoeSource is preparing for its second bankruptcy, which could come as soon as within two weeks, a person familiar with the situation tells CNBC.

As part of the bankruptcy process, Payless is is looking for buyers for its real estate, which could include selling large blocks of stores in certain areas of the country. If it cannot find buyers, it may need to shutter the majority, if not all, of its North American store-base, the person said.

The person cautioned that plans remain in flux and it is still possible that Payless could avoid a bankruptcy filing, potentially by finding a buyer for the entire company.

Payless filed for bankruptcy protection in April 2017 and closed nearly 400 stores. The retailer currently has more than 2,700 North American stores, according to its website.

The person requested anonymity because the information is confidential. A spokesperson for Payless did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Bloomberg first reported Payless’ bankruptcy plan.

If a filing were to occur, Payless would be the latest in a string of retailers to emerge from bankruptcy protection, only to boomerang back. Children’s apparel brand Gymboree recently filed for its second bankruptcy in less than two years.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-02-08  Authors: lauren hirsch, jessica bursztynsky, daniel acker, bloomberg, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, stores, prepares, closures, bankruptcy, filed, shoesource, second, weeks, north, store, protection, come, filing, buyers, payless, person, plans


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Eddie Lampert’s deal to buy Sears granted approval, as retailer is given a second life

The creditors attacked the bankruptcy sale that Sears ran as it looked for a buyer and argued that ESL’s bid was deficient. As Drain read his ruling Thursday, he outlined the obligations before him, as laid out by the bankruptcy code. Despite Lampert’s unique status as Sears’ chairman and largest investor, Drain believes Lampert’s acquisition of Sears was thoroughly and independently evaluated by an independent committee appointed for the process. In addition to the accusations lobbed by the com


The creditors attacked the bankruptcy sale that Sears ran as it looked for a buyer and argued that ESL’s bid was deficient. As Drain read his ruling Thursday, he outlined the obligations before him, as laid out by the bankruptcy code. Despite Lampert’s unique status as Sears’ chairman and largest investor, Drain believes Lampert’s acquisition of Sears was thoroughly and independently evaluated by an independent committee appointed for the process. In addition to the accusations lobbed by the com
Eddie Lampert’s deal to buy Sears granted approval, as retailer is given a second life Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-02-07  Authors: lauren hirsch, gregory bull
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, creditors, lampert, eddie, granted, buy, drain, ruling, sale, life, letter, retailer, deal, bankruptcy, unsecured, sears, given, business, second, lamperts


Eddie Lampert's deal to buy Sears granted approval, as retailer is given a second life

In a trial that spanned three days and two courtrooms within the White Plains, New York, courthouse, Drain overheard a litany of concerns from Sears’ unsecured creditors, who pointed to potential flaws in ESL’s business plan and its previous failures running the retail giant. The creditors attacked the bankruptcy sale that Sears ran as it looked for a buyer and argued that ESL’s bid was deficient.

As Drain read his ruling Thursday, he outlined the obligations before him, as laid out by the bankruptcy code. He said he had to determine whether the deal made “good business sense,” which the judge said he believed it did. He said the auction process conducted by Sears, though expedited, was fair considering the time-limits imposed by its liquidity constraints. Despite Lampert’s unique status as Sears’ chairman and largest investor, Drain believes Lampert’s acquisition of Sears was thoroughly and independently evaluated by an independent committee appointed for the process.

Drain was unhappy, though, with a letter Lampert sent to the independent committee during the auction, in which Lampert threatened legal action for breach of fiduciary duty after it rejected several of his offers. Drain said, that when notified of that letter, he “made it clear in no uncertain terms that the letter was a mistake and should be ignored by all parties, including those who were handling the sale on behalf of the debtor.” He said he believed his advice had been heeded.

As Drain closed his ruling, he addressed Lampert directly, though the reclusive billionaire was not in attendance, opting instead to listen by dial-in from his office in Bay Harbor Islands, Florida.

Lampert’s mysticism, combined with the magnitude of Sears’ fall and the finger-pointing that has accompanied it, has set the groundwork for the “verbal abuse” Drain believes Lampert has been subject to. In addition to the accusations lobbed by the company’s unsecured creditors during the course of Sears’ bankruptcy, Lampert has also been a target of presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, angry former Sears’ workers, as well as retail pundits. He has been accused of not only making decisions that led to the retailer’s troubles, but doing so with an intent to profit from them.

With Sears’ revival, said Drain, Lampert “has the opportunity not to be a cartoon character … he should do that.”

The judge urged Lampert to continue to have a clear communication process with the company and its employees as he guides the emerged business.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-02-07  Authors: lauren hirsch, gregory bull
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, creditors, lampert, eddie, granted, buy, drain, ruling, sale, life, letter, retailer, deal, bankruptcy, unsecured, sears, given, business, second, lamperts


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Jimmy Dean parent Tyson Foods has held talks to buy Foster Farms for $2 billion

Meat processor Tyson Foods has held talks about buying privately owned California-based Foster Farms for roughly $2 billion, people familiar with the situation tell CNBC. The deal talks come just months after Tyson closed its $2.16 billion acquisition of McDonald’s meat supplier Keystone Foods, which further expanded its capabilities in Asia. It would instead echo a strategy it pursued in 2014, with its $7.7 billion acquisition of Hillshire Brands, which brought with it Jimmy Dean sausages and B


Meat processor Tyson Foods has held talks about buying privately owned California-based Foster Farms for roughly $2 billion, people familiar with the situation tell CNBC. The deal talks come just months after Tyson closed its $2.16 billion acquisition of McDonald’s meat supplier Keystone Foods, which further expanded its capabilities in Asia. It would instead echo a strategy it pursued in 2014, with its $7.7 billion acquisition of Hillshire Brands, which brought with it Jimmy Dean sausages and B
Jimmy Dean parent Tyson Foods has held talks to buy Foster Farms for $2 billion Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-02-05  Authors: lauren hirsch, bloomberg, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, strategy, parent, ceo, acquisition, jimmy, foods, dean, talks, tyson, farms, billion, held, buy, meat, foster


Jimmy Dean parent Tyson Foods has held talks to buy Foster Farms for $2 billion

Meat processor Tyson Foods has held talks about buying privately owned California-based Foster Farms for roughly $2 billion, people familiar with the situation tell CNBC.

The two sides are disagreeing over price, said these people, and it is possible the talks fall apart. If a deal is consummated, it is still at least several weeks away.

Shares of Tyson briefly dropped nearly 2 percent on news of the talks, but quickly rebounded to $61.64 a share, off less than 1 percent.

Tyson, one of the biggest food companies in the U.S. by sales, supplies meat to restaurants and other food-service customers. It also sells branded chicken, beef, and pork under labels like Jimmy Dean, Hillshire Farm and Golden Island Jerky.

The deal talks come just months after Tyson closed its $2.16 billion acquisition of McDonald’s meat supplier Keystone Foods, which further expanded its capabilities in Asia.

An acquisition of a U.S. brand like Foster Farms, which makes products like branded chicken, turkey and frozen foods, would therefore mark a mild change in course for Tyson. It would instead echo a strategy it pursued in 2014, with its $7.7 billion acquisition of Hillshire Brands, which brought with it Jimmy Dean sausages and Ball Park hot dogs.

Tyson executives were asked about their global M&A strategy during the company’s November earnings call. Of particular concern to one analyst was international expansion in the context of geopolitical uncertainty and currency fluctuations.

In response, CEO Noel White said, “We’re forecasting about 90% of the growth in global protein demand will take place outside the United States. We do plan to participate in that demand growth…. My priority is no different than .. .my predecessors [which have been] … to grow our business in prepared foods, value-added products and in the international market, simultaneously working to provide stability with more of the commodity portions of our business.”

White took over as CEO on Sept. 30, 2018, after serving as Tyson’s group president of beef, pork and international.

Foster Farms was founded in in 1939 by Max and Verda Foster. It owns farms in California and Louisiana, and also works with 30 family-owned farms in Washington and Oregon. In 2016, it named Laura Flanagan its CEO, taking over for Ron Foster, grandson of the company’s founder.

Tyson, founded in 1935 by John W. Tyson, generated roughly $40 billion in sales last fiscal year. Shares of the company, which has a market capitalization of $18 billion, are down 15 percent over the past year.

The people requested anonymity because the talks are confidential. Tyson said it does not comment on rumors or speculation. A spokesperson for Foster Farms did not respond to requests for comment.

—CNBC’s David Faber contributed reporting


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-02-05  Authors: lauren hirsch, bloomberg, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, strategy, parent, ceo, acquisition, jimmy, foods, dean, talks, tyson, farms, billion, held, buy, meat, foster


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Papa John’s Starboard deal hopes to end feud with founder Schnatter

Schnatter voted against the Starboard deal, according to a company spokesman. He had previously reached out to third parties, either directly or through an intermediary, to explore his own deal for Papa John’s, according to SEC filings. Last year, Papa John’s hired Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Lazard to explore selling the chain. However, the effort was complicated by Schnatter’s stake and Papa John’s uneven earnings performance. The deal also gives Starboard the option to invest 50 million


Schnatter voted against the Starboard deal, according to a company spokesman. He had previously reached out to third parties, either directly or through an intermediary, to explore his own deal for Papa John’s, according to SEC filings. Last year, Papa John’s hired Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Lazard to explore selling the chain. However, the effort was complicated by Schnatter’s stake and Papa John’s uneven earnings performance. The deal also gives Starboard the option to invest 50 million
Papa John’s Starboard deal hopes to end feud with founder Schnatter Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-02-04  Authors: lauren hirsch, amelia lucas, denise truscello, wireimage, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, hopes, johns, end, deal, schnatter, papa, starboard, million, feud, company, according, founder, public, stake


Papa John's Starboard deal hopes to end feud with founder Schnatter

Embattled pizza chain Papa John’s has struck a deal with activist hedge fund Starboard Value in what it hopes may bring an end to a rocky few months that included a public battle with the chain’s founder, John Schnatter.

As part of the deal, Starboard will invest $200 million, which will bring Schnatter’s stake in Papa John’s down from roughly 30 percent to around 26 percent, according to a person familiar with the situation. It will also install Starboard Chief Executive Jeff Smith, known for his turnaround of Darden Restaurants, on the pizza chain’s board as chairman, giving it a powerful defense should Schnatter wish to launch a proxy battle or seek to overturn members of the Papa John’s board.

But when Schnatter heard about the proposed deal Saturday, he sent the board his own proposal with similar terms, according to an SEC filing. In addition to a $200 million investment with the option to invest $50 million more in the future, Schnatter offered a lower dividend rate and limited voting rights for the new shares. The special committee rejected the offer.

“The Special Committee unanimously concluded that the Starboard investment was superior to Mr. Schnatter’s proposal and that the Starboard investment was in the best interest of all Papa John’s shareholders,” a company spokesperson said in a statement.

Schnatter voted against the Starboard deal, according to a company spokesman. Other directors were unanimously in favor of Starboard’s proposal.

It wasn’t immediately clear how Schnatter planned to fund his proposed transaction. He had previously reached out to third parties, either directly or through an intermediary, to explore his own deal for Papa John’s, according to SEC filings.

Schnatter also said in Monday’s filing that he is also “evaluating the legal remedies available to him.”

Shares of Papa John’s jumped 11 percent Monday, but the stock, which has a $1.3 billion market value, is still down nearly 30 percent over the past year.

Last year, Papa John’s hired Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Lazard to explore selling the chain. However, the effort was complicated by Schnatter’s stake and Papa John’s uneven earnings performance. The Starboard stake does not rule out a sale, according to a person familiar with the matter. The deal also gives Starboard the option to invest 50 million more in Papa John’s through March 29.

The chain’s founder has been locked in a feud with the company ever since he gave up his role as chairman in July. Prior to leaving the company, Schnatter became embroiled in number of public scandals, including his use of the N-word on a conference call that led to calls for boycotts. A poison pill plan put in place by the board after his ouster prohibits him from purchasing more stock until July 2019.

Also Monday, the company reduced its outlook for 2018 earnings to the lower end of the prior range of $1.30 to $1.60. In 2017, it earned $2.51 per share. The public relations crisis primarily hit North American sales, with same-store sales in the region dropping by 8.1 percent in the fourth quarter. In January, they declined even more, falling by 10.5 percent.

Despite its public relations challenges, the restaurant remains a desirable target, should questions around its ownership be resolved, sources say. Pizza is one of the few food items that, like hamburgers, scales well internationally. With sufficient investments in technology, there may be opportunity to revive the brand to echo the resurgence enjoyed by Domino’s after its own technology investments.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-02-04  Authors: lauren hirsch, amelia lucas, denise truscello, wireimage, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, hopes, johns, end, deal, schnatter, papa, starboard, million, feud, company, according, founder, public, stake


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Sears creditors challenge idea Lampert’s bid will save about 45,000 jobs

Sears’ unsecured creditors took to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York in White Plains on Monday to protest Lampert’s bid for Sears. Lampert, Sears’ chairman, is purchasing Sears through an affiliate of his hedge fund ESL Investments. But the exact stores Lampert will continue to operate, and thereby the official number, has not been formalized. Lampert’s bid, and its ability to save jobs, has become a touchpoint, in part because the new company faces significant chal


Sears’ unsecured creditors took to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York in White Plains on Monday to protest Lampert’s bid for Sears. Lampert, Sears’ chairman, is purchasing Sears through an affiliate of his hedge fund ESL Investments. But the exact stores Lampert will continue to operate, and thereby the official number, has not been formalized. Lampert’s bid, and its ability to save jobs, has become a touchpoint, in part because the new company faces significant chal
Sears creditors challenge idea Lampert’s bid will save about 45,000 jobs Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-02-04  Authors: lauren hirsch, gregory bull
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, bid, lampert, lamperts, creditors, challenge, 45000, stores, save, idea, sears, drain, esl, unsecured, jobs


Sears creditors challenge idea Lampert's bid will save about 45,000 jobs

As questions have swirled about the viability and motivation behind Eddie Lampert’s $5.2 billion planned purchase of Sears out of bankruptcy, one notion has been constant: his offer is the only one that would save 45,000 jobs.

Now, even that tenet has been thrust into question. Sears’ unsecured creditors took to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York in White Plains on Monday to protest Lampert’s bid for Sears. In cross-examinations of Sears’ financial advisor, Lazard’s Brandon Aebersold, and board member William Transier, the unsecured creditors’ legal counsel dug into the uncertainty that persists around Sears’ ability to grant continued employment.

Lampert, Sears’ chairman, is purchasing Sears through an affiliate of his hedge fund ESL Investments. As part of the proposed deal, Lampert has said he is aiming to buy 425 stores, which equates to roughly 45,000 jobs. But the exact stores Lampert will continue to operate, and thereby the official number, has not been formalized. Lampert has until May to do so.

Meantime, Sears, which also operates Kmart stores, plans to close more stores in 2019 and beyond, a point its unsecured creditors raised in court.

Akin Gump’s Joseph Sorkin, legal counsel to the unsecured creditors, asked Lazard’s Aebersold how many stores the company plans on closing in 2019. When Aebersold responded that he did not know, Sorkin followed up about the number of jobs that could be impacted.

“Do you know how many employees will lose their jobs over the course of 2019 as a result of the plans ESL has?” he asked. Aebersold likewise did not know the impact on jobs.

In later testimony, Sears board member Transier acknowledged Sears could close an average of three stores a month this year and sell $600 million in real estate over the next three years.

Lampert’s bid, and its ability to save jobs, has become a touchpoint, in part because the new company faces significant challenges. Under Lampert’s guidance the company hasn’t turned a profit since 2010. Its competitors, like Walmart and Target, are bigger and better funded than Sears, allowing them to make investments in technology and stores that Sears cannot match.

Sears’ unsecured creditors have, therefore, questioned whether Lampert’s push to resurrect Sears is driven by an achievable business plan, or “nothing but the final fulfillment of a years long scheme to rob Sears and its creditors of assets and employees of jobs while lining Lampert’s and ESL’s own pockets.”

The unsecured creditors have accused Lampert of using his unique position as Sears’ longtime chairman, CEO and largest shareholder to orchestrate deals that unduly benefited him. Those deals include Sears’ spinoff of Lands’ End in 2014 and transactions with Seritage Growth Properties, a real estate investment trust Lampert created through some Sears’ properties a year later.

Their cause has seemingly resonated. In a letter addressed to Lampert, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren recently wrote: “I am concerned that under your leadership, Sears may continue to struggle and employees will continue to face uncertainty and anxiety over their future employment, and ongoing risks to their benefits and economic security.”

Meantime, workers rights group Rise Up Retail has been leading rallies of current and former Sears workers to advocate for the protections of workers after Sears’ bankruptcy.

Despite questions about the magnitude of jobs Lampert’s bid would save, the judge overseeing the case, Judge Robert Drain, has indicated support for an offer that could still save any number of jobs. Drain twice granted ESL and Sears more time in order to craft a resolution when it seemed like they had reached a breaking point.

That apparent proclivity was another point underlined by lawyers representing Sears’ unsecured creditors on Monday. A lawyer with their legal team referred to minutes from a meeting with the judge after which Sears had rejected ESL’s offer. According to the minutes, Drain encouraged Sears and ESL to make one more attempt to get past the finish line.

Drain, meantime, seemed at some points to have run out of patience with the lawyers for the unsecured creditors. At one occasion, Drain admonished counsel for the unsecured creditors for having “spent 20 minutes going over stuff that is unnecessary.”

When lawyers informed Drain that a new potential point of contention between Sears and ESL arose Sunday night over who would assume $166 million in liabilities, Drain reminded the parties they have already signed a legal contract.

A spokesperson for Sears declined to comment.

WATCH:Sears was the Amazon of the 1930s. Here’s where the retailer is today


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-02-04  Authors: lauren hirsch, gregory bull
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, bid, lampert, lamperts, creditors, challenge, 45000, stores, save, idea, sears, drain, esl, unsecured, jobs


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Toys R Us built a kingdom and the world’s biggest toy store. Then, they lost it.

Toys R Us’ status as the most important toy store in town left it cavalier, if cocky at times, according to conversations with former employees, executives and industry insiders, who spoke to CNBC on the condition of anonymity. The story begins with Lazarus, the store’s visionary who wanted the “R” written backward — an ode to childlike scrawl. Lazarus, who has been described as one of the great merchants of his time, expanded a baby furniture store he owned into a toy store. In its heyday in th


Toys R Us’ status as the most important toy store in town left it cavalier, if cocky at times, according to conversations with former employees, executives and industry insiders, who spoke to CNBC on the condition of anonymity. The story begins with Lazarus, the store’s visionary who wanted the “R” written backward — an ode to childlike scrawl. Lazarus, who has been described as one of the great merchants of his time, expanded a baby furniture store he owned into a toy store. In its heyday in th
Toys R Us built a kingdom and the world’s biggest toy store. Then, they lost it. Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-01-26  Authors: lauren hirsch, eduardo munoz, jacques m chenet, corbis, getty images, scott mlyn, peter foley, bloomberg, jason alden
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, written, toy, biggest, toys, worlds, built, went, store, lost, stores, lazarus, world, week, kingdom, important


Toys R Us built a kingdom and the world's biggest toy store. Then, they lost it.

The toy emporium that Charles P. Lazarus envisioned has been reduced to dusty floors and empty shelves.

Much has been said about the demise of the toy empire, which this week announced its plan to liquidate. There have been fingers pointed at corporate raiders, Amazon and big-box stores. All contributed to its undoing.

Ultimately, though, Toys R Us’ collapse is a story of loyalty run dry. The store in its early days fostered devotion from customers and toymakers. In the end, it lost hold on both.

Toys R Us’ status as the most important toy store in town left it cavalier, if cocky at times, according to conversations with former employees, executives and industry insiders, who spoke to CNBC on the condition of anonymity. It didn’t invest in its stores, even as it was adding to the fleet, leaving it vulnerable when new competition moved in.

The story begins with Lazarus, the store’s visionary who wanted the “R” written backward — an ode to childlike scrawl. Lazarus, who has been described as one of the great merchants of his time, expanded a baby furniture store he owned into a toy store. By 1978, he had created a toy superstore large enough to become a public company.

In its heyday in the 1980s and 1990s, it was the most important toy store in the country, if not the world. Its strength grew as competitors Kiddie City and Child World went out of business.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-01-26  Authors: lauren hirsch, eduardo munoz, jacques m chenet, corbis, getty images, scott mlyn, peter foley, bloomberg, jason alden
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, written, toy, biggest, toys, worlds, built, went, store, lost, stores, lazarus, world, week, kingdom, important


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Ferrero, Hostess, B&G bid on Kellogg’s Keebler and Famous Amos brands

Hostess Brands, B&G Foods and Nutella-owner Ferrero have placed first-round bids on Kellogg’s Keebler, Famous Amos and fruit snacks businesses, in a deal that could value the brands at more than $1.5 billion, people familiar with the situation tell CNBC. Private equity firms are also competing for the cookie brands, the people said. The sale comes as Kellogg competitor, Campbell Soup, is selling its own cookie brands, Australia-based Arnott’s. The soup company’s cookie business has also attracte


Hostess Brands, B&G Foods and Nutella-owner Ferrero have placed first-round bids on Kellogg’s Keebler, Famous Amos and fruit snacks businesses, in a deal that could value the brands at more than $1.5 billion, people familiar with the situation tell CNBC. Private equity firms are also competing for the cookie brands, the people said. The sale comes as Kellogg competitor, Campbell Soup, is selling its own cookie brands, Australia-based Arnott’s. The soup company’s cookie business has also attracte
Ferrero, Hostess, B&G bid on Kellogg’s Keebler and Famous Amos brands Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-01-18  Authors: lauren hirsch, daniel acker, bloomberg, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, business, brands, bg, fruit, ferrero, hostess, amos, sale, bid, kellogg, food, cookie, bought, keebler, kelloggs, famous


Ferrero, Hostess, B&G bid on Kellogg's Keebler and Famous Amos brands

Hostess Brands, B&G Foods and Nutella-owner Ferrero have placed first-round bids on Kellogg’s Keebler, Famous Amos and fruit snacks businesses, in a deal that could value the brands at more than $1.5 billion, people familiar with the situation tell CNBC.

Kellogg announced the sale of its cookie brands last year. Other brands up for sale include Murray and Mother’s cookies and Stretch Island fruit snacks.

Private equity firms are also competing for the cookie brands, the people said.

The sale comes as Kellogg competitor, Campbell Soup, is selling its own cookie brands, Australia-based Arnott’s. The soup company’s cookie business has also attracted Ferrero, as well as Mondelez and Kraft Heinz, CNBC first reported. The company’s Australian heritage has lent itself to a buyer base with an international focus.

Campbell and Kellogg are among the many Big Food brands that are paring down their portfolios to be more nimble as they struggle to kick-start growth. Other examples include Kraft Heinz, which last year announced the sale of its Indian food business, Complan and General Mills, which has said it plans divestitures.

Those sales have created opportunity for companies like Ferrero, Hostess and B&G that have looked to deals to broaden their reach.

Italy-based Ferrero, which was founded as a family business in 1946, has been aggressive in using acquisitions to grow its global footprint over the past two years. In 2017, it paid roughly $1 billion to buy Ferrara Candy Company, the U.S. owner of Red Hots and Now & Later candies, giving it infrastructure and a platform to grow in the U.S. It later bought Nestle’s U.S. candy business for $2.8 billion, adding to its portfolio brands like BabyRuth and Butterfinger.

Hostess has been eyeing deals to broaden its treats beyond Twinkies and Ho-Hos. Executive Chairman Dean Metropoulos told analysts last February the company has “looked at every snack acquisition that has been announced [that] year,” but was put off by the sky-high valuations. The Twinkie-owner last year bought breakfast brands the Big Texas and Cloverhill from Aryzta.

B&G, meantime, has bought a number of discarded brands from the country’s largest food companies, looking to revive neglected brands with new investment. The owner of Cream of Wheat bought Green Giant from General Mills for $765 million in 2015 and McCann’s Irish oatmeal from TreeHouse Foods for $32 million last year.

A spokesperson for Kellogg said it is “exploring the potential divestiture of our cookies, fruit snacks, ice-cream cones, and pie shells businesses. A formal process is underway.”

B&G and Ferrero declined to comment. Hostess did not respond to requests for comment. The people requested anonymity because the talks are confidential.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-01-18  Authors: lauren hirsch, daniel acker, bloomberg, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, business, brands, bg, fruit, ferrero, hostess, amos, sale, bid, kellogg, food, cookie, bought, keebler, kelloggs, famous


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