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  • INDUSTRY NEWS

    • On June 23, 2017, it was reported, private equity firm Sycamore Partners could acquire Staples for more than $6 billion after outpacing private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management in bidding, unnamed sources told Fortune. Sycamore is finalizing a financing package and a deal could be revealed as early as next week, though negotiations are ongoing, according to the report. Fortune said that Staples and Sycamore declined to comment and that Cerberus didn't respond to its request for comment. Staples last month said it's on track to close approximately 70 stores in North America this year, and it touted the launch of a new brand campaign emphasizing itself as a "solutions provider for businesses of all sizes."
    • On June 23, 2017, it was reported, Sears Holdings Corp. in mid-September will close another 18 Sears stores and two Kmart stores, a company spokesperson told Retail Dive. The company's real estate investment trust, Seritage Properties, was notified of the plan and filed a notice with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday. Liquidation sales will begin by June 30, the spokesperson said in an email. The closure of unprofitable stores is part of the retailer's ongoing strategy of "strategically and aggressively evaluating our store space and productivity," the spokesperson said, "and [we] have accelerated the closing of unprofitable stores as previously announced." The affected stores are in 14 states: California, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, Texas and Wisconsin, according to a report from Business Insider. Sears has nearly halved its store footprint since 2012, from 2,019 then to fewer than 1,200 this year, once all planned closures are made. On June 19, 2017, it was reported, Stephan Zoll, president of online operations at Sears Holdings Corp., will depart June 15, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The company's president of apparel, David Pastrana, and senior vice president of the company's omnichannel loyalty program, Shop Your Way, are also leaving, according to a portion of an internal memo emailed Wednesday to Retail Dive by a Sears spokesperson. The news comes just hours after Sears' announcement of a new round of corporate layoffs on Tuesday, entailing the elimination of 400 full-time jobs at its corporate offices and throughout its global support operations. The moves also come on top of store positions eliminated this year as the company moves to shutter around 250 stores.
    • On June 22, 2017, Palliser Furniture Holdings Ltd. announced that it has reached an agreement to purchase Casana Furniture Company Ltd. effective June 30, 2017. With this acquisition, the Palliser Furniture Group adds the Casana casegoods line to its brand portfolio alongside Palliser Upholstery and EQ3, making it the largest home furnishings manufacturer/supplier in Canada. Each of these brands, led by dedicated leadership teams, will enhance Palliser's market opportunity and benefit from synergies across the entire furniture group. "This acquisition allows Palliser Furniture Holdings to present a complete lifestyle of products, including a variety of price points and design aesthetics, making us more effective at meeting the needs of our customers," said Peter Tielmann.
    • On June 22, 2017, J.Crew Group, Inc. reported lenders holding some 88% of the outstanding principal amount of loans under its amended term loan agreement, first announced June 12, plan to push off at least some of its $566.5 million debt maturity from 2019 to 2021, according to a press release. The amendment is a debt swap of 7.75%/8.50% senior pay-in-kind notes due in 2019 for an equity stake and bonds that mature in 2021. When first announced, the plan included a proposal for the company's term-loan lenders to dismiss, with prejudice, litigation relating to the assignment of its intellectual property rights, which J. Crew late last year attempted to shield by transferring them to an unrestricted Cayman Islands subsidiary. The term loan amendment wasn't contingent on such an agreement. The Wednesday press release didn't address that aspect of the proposal.