Martinne's Feed
Apr 12, 2013

JC Penney hires Blackstone, Ackman willing to put up capital

NEW YORK, April 11 (Reuters) – Troubled J.C. Penney Co Inc
has hired Blackstone Group LP’s financial
advisory arm to explore how best to position the firm
financially, three sources said on Thursday, while key investor
William Ackman said shareholders were willing to put up more
capital.

The prospect of financial backing is likely to help soothe
investors rattled by the department store chain’s controversial
decision this week to let go Apple alum Ron Johnson as
CEO after a failed turnaround and bring back his predecessor –
whose leadership was also much criticized.

Apr 11, 2013

Ackman concedes J.C. Penney management mistakes, eyes future

NEW YORK (Reuters) – J.C. Penney Co Inc board member William Ackman on Thursday acknowledged the shortcomings of the CEO he handpicked to turn around the retailer and said he was optimistic about the company and its future.

Speaking at a luncheon in New York, Ackman said Penney’s former chief executive Ron Johnson was not at the company’s Texas headquarters enough, since his family lives in California. Even though Johnson worked hard, Ackman said the lack of his physical presence “affected the morale of the home team.”

Apr 11, 2013

Burger King stock up on profit view, CEO going to Heinz

By Lisa Baertlein and Martinne Geller

(Reuters) – Burger King Worldwide Inc (BKW.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) forecast a slightly higher quarterly profit on Thursday than Wall Street expected, even though spending among fast-food diners remains weak.

The hamburger chain, which has a long history of ownership and management changes, also said Chief Executive Bernardo Hees will leave to take over at H.J. Heinz Co (HNZ.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz).

Apr 10, 2013

Constellation Brands’ profit tops Street estimates

April 10 (Reuters) – Constellation Brands Inc
reported a higher-than-expected fourth-quarter profit on
Wednesday, as the company benefited from an acquisition and
selling a greater number of more expensive products.

Constellation, the world’s largest branded wine company, is
poised to become the nation’s No. 3 beer maker behind
Anheuser-Busch InBev and Miller Coors ,
once it takes over Grupo Modelo’s U.S. business.

Apr 9, 2013

FBI probes trading as KPMG quits as Herbalife, Skechers auditor

April 9 (Reuters) – In a case that could shake one of the
world’s largest accounting firms, KPMG said it
resigned as auditor of two U.S. companies as the FBI on Tuesday
began investigating insider trading allegations involving a
former KPMG senior partner.

The companies – nutritional products group Herbalife Ltd
and footwear maker Skechers USA Inc – said
separately that KPMG had quit as their auditor in connection
with alleged leaks of nonpublic information.

Apr 9, 2013

Herbalife auditor KPMG resigns amid information leak

April 9 (Reuters) – KPMG resigned as the auditor of
Herbalife Ltd after one of its senior partners engaged
in insider trading in Herbalife stock, the nutritional products
company said on Tuesday.

Herbalife said in a statement that KPMG’s
resignation had nothing to do with its accounting practices or
the integrity of its management – issues called into question by
the high-stakes drama between hedge fund titans Bill Ackman and
Carl Icahn over the company.

Apr 5, 2013

Two U.S. nutrition companies looking for buyers -sources

NEW YORK, April 5 (Reuters) – Santa Cruz Nutritionals and
Nellson Nutraceutical LLC are looking for buyers as the latest
firms in the nutrition sector hoping to cash in on large
companies’ hunger for healthy products, three sources familiar
with the situation said.

Santa Cruz, a California-based maker of calcium gummies and
vitamin jelly beans, and Nellson, which makes nutrition bars and
powders, are both being advised by investment bank Houlihan
Lokey, said one of the sources. The sources, who spoke to
Reuters this week, declined to be identified as both processes
are private.

Mar 27, 2013

Beauty brand Carol’s Daughter exploring sale of company -sources

NEW YORK, March 27 (Reuters) – Carol’s Daughter, known for
its products for naturally curly hair, is exploring a sale of
the company, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

The tiny company, with big backers including Jay-Z and Will
Smith, is owned by private equity firm Pegasus Capital Advisors.
It is being advised by Moelis & Co, said the sources, who
declined to be identified as the process is private.

Mar 25, 2013

U.S. soda sales decline accelerated in 2012 -report

March 25 (Reuters) – The decline in U.S. sales of carbonated
soft drinks accelerated last year as more consumers reached for
alternatives, according to a leading beverage industry
newsletter.

Total sales volume fell 1.2 percent in 2012 to 9.17 billion
cases, according to Beverage Digest. That compares with declines
of 1 percent in 2011 and 0.5 percent in 2010.

Mar 22, 2013

Mondelez, PepsiCo shares up after report of Peltz stake

By Martinne Geller

(Reuters) – Shares in top U.S. packaged food companies Mondelez International Inc (MDLZ.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and PepsiCo Inc (PEP.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) jumped on Friday on speculation that they could merge, after a report that activist investor Nelson Peltz has taken stakes in each.

Citing sources familiar with the matter, Britain’s Daily Telegraph reported that Peltz had spent $2 billion on shares of the companies through his investment vehicle, Trian Fund Management. The paper speculated that Peltz could then push for a merger of the two companies.