Would-be retail turnaround specialist George Jones is being replaced immediately as ceo of Borders Group after two-and-a-half difficult years of failing to bring to the retailer to profitability. Taking over is Ron Marshall, most recently principal of Wildridge Capital Management, a private equity company he founded. Previously, Marshall was ceo for eight years of food distributor Nash Finch Company and prior to that he was evp and cfo at Pathmark. Earlier in his career he worked at Crown Books and BN College. Board chairman Larry Pollock says in the announcement, “it is imperative that the company more aggressively attack these […]
Investor Ron Burkle filed papers with the SEC on Friday disclosing that his companies have purchased an 8.3 percent stake in Barnes & Noble since November 24. Purchasing over 4 million shares, he believes “such shares were undervalued by the market at the time they were acquired.” The filing declares the purchase is “for investment purposes, however, the reporting persons intend to closely monitor the company’s performance and may modify their plans in the future.” Burkle’s investment company Yucaipa says on their web site that they “work with management to strategically reposition businesses and implement operational improvements, resulting in value […]
The wholesaler, which had credit insurance cover pulled by Euler Hermes earlier this month, has laid off “just under” 60 people, or 2 percent of overall staff. Included in the cuts are two executives for entertainment and music purchasing, LJ reports. CEO Thomas Morgan says “We have taken a fresh look at our organizational structure and made some adjustments…. We are continuing to pursue retail business that meets our financial objectives and are moving forward with a number of new retail accounts.” He notes, “During challenging economic times, it is our desire to cut all non-employee expenses first, but we […]
Borders announced yesterday that they have extended the deadline by one month on both the repayment of their $42.5 million senior secured term loan to Pershing Square, as well as the “put” to require Pershing to purchase their Paperchase subsidiary for $65 million. Both deadlines have been extended to February 16. In late November when reporting quarterly earnings Borders said they were “in discussions with Pershing Square regarding an alternative financing transaction.” The nearly worthless stock has still managed to decline another 20 percent in early trading today, though Barnes & Noble has suffered weak trading the past two days […]
Ever since the troubles at Woolworth’s became severe earlier this fall, we’ve been dubious about the short statements from Bertram’s managing director Michael Neil, whose twin pillars have been business is great and sale of the book wholesaler is imminent. Now Neil finally admits no sale is likely until next year, and calls himself unrealistic: “”Bertrams will be sold–probably not as quickly as we said it would be, but that’s because of Christmas and New Year. It’s unrealistic to think it would be sorted out this close to Christmas.” And business remains great, except not: “We had a great week […]
In a press release issued this morning in German, Bertelsmann announced the sale of their British book clubs, Book Club Associates (BCA), to Munich’s holding company Aurelius. The transfer is scheduled for January 1. BCA has approximately 700,000 members and sales are said to be in the “middle double-digit million euro range.” This will be the first British property in Aurelius’s portfolio.