Canadian Tire to purchase sporting goods chain
Canadian Tire Corp. has signed an agreement to purchase The Forzani Group (FGL), Canada’s leading sporting goods retailer with 500 outlets across the country and revenues of $1.4 billion a year. The all-cash deal, in which Canadian Tire will purchase all the outstanding shares of FGL for $26.50 per share, has the support of the FDL board of directors, which is recommending to its shareholders to tender their shares to the offer. It is expected to close in the third quarter of 2011 pending regulatory approval.
In its announcement, Canadian Tire said it will gain from having access to an expanded customer base with FGL’s retail banners, including mall-based shoppers and the important 18-to-35-year-old customer segment.
More than 70% of FGL’s sales are in athletic apparel and footwear, with the balance of sales in sporting hard goods that complement Canadian Tire’s assortment with very little overlap, according to the company.
“Canadian Tire is today strengthening its credibility as Canada’s ultimate authority in sports,” said Stephen Wetmore, president and CEO of Canadian Tire. “The acquisition of retail banners like Sport Chek and Sports Experts is a natural extension of our core sports business.”
The offer is not subject to a financing condition, according to Canadian Tire. It is anticipated the $771 million acquisition (excluding FGL debt and shares already owned by Canadian Tire) will be financed with $500 million of cash on hand and the balance with short-term financing. Canadian Tire expects to return to pre-acquisition leverage levels within 18 to 24 months of closing the transaction.
Canadian Tire intends to operate the FGL retail banners as a separate business unit, similar to Mark’s and Canadian Tire Financial Services.
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Moen appoints marketing exec
Kitchen and bath supplier Moen has announced the promotion of Mark Knurek to the position of director of marketing and product development for its commercial business unit.
In his new role, Knurek will be responsible for developing and championing the strategic direction of Moen Commercial’s new product development process, focusing on products for heavy-duty construction, as well as those that meet WaterSense criteria for performance and water efficiency. In addition, he will lead Moen Commercial’s marketing programs, including advertising, public relations and direct marketing.
Prior to his new role, Knurek worked for Moen’s wholesale business unit. He most recently served as senior brand manager for Moen’s ShowHouse and Cleveland Faucet Group (CFG) brands. Previously, he was a senior product manager supporting marketing innovation with products such as Moen’s first digital bath product, ioDIGITAL, as well as several other products in the residential segment. Knurek also served as a group project manager for the wholesale business unit, where he led cross-functional teams to bring new products to market.
Knurek began his career at Eaton Corp. and also worked at Shiloh Industries prior to joining Moen in 2002.
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Riding mowers recalled
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with Kohler Co. of Kohler, Wis., has recalled 10,000 lawn tractors sold under the Cub Cadet, Troy-Bilt and Husqvarna brands because of the possibility of injuries to users.
A wire connector on the lawn tractors’ engine can become disconnected, causing the operator’s seat switch to fail. When this happens, the blades will not shut down, posing a laceration hazard to consumer.
This recall involves Kohler-made twin-cylinder engines sold with the three brands of lawn tractors. The vertical-shaft gasoline engines range in horsepower from 20 to 25. Manufactured in the United States, the products were sold at Lowe’s, Tractor Supply Co. and authorized Cub Cadet dealers nationwide from February 2011 through April 2011 for $1,500 to $5,700.
Consumers should immediately stop using the lawn tractors and contact an authorized Kohler dealer or the retail location where the tractor was purchased for a free inspection and repair.
More information is available here.
New survey results from
New survey results from Nielsen show that users are ditching their laptops, abandoning their ereaders, and leaving their MP3 players behind. For a large, and growing segment of the population, the tablet is the new primary computing and entertainment device. According to the Nielsen data, about one third of the tablet owners who were surveyed indicated that they use their desktop PC less--or not at all--since getting a tablet. The same is true for laptops, [url=http://www.laptopspark.com/products/HP-Pavilion-dv6-3210us-NoteBook-AMD-Phenom-II-Dual-Core-N66030GHz-156-4GB-Memory-500GB-HDD-5400rpm-DVD-Super-Multi-ATI-Radeon-HD-4250-laptop-1131.html]HP Pavilion dv6-3210us NoteBook AMD Phenom II Dual-Core N660(3.0GHz) 15.6" 4GB Memory 500GB HDD 5400rpm DVD Super Multi ATI Radeon HD 4250[/url], ereaders, and even portable music players. Across the board, the tablet is making more than a little dent in the way people use technology. Nielsen survey graphThis Nielsen chart illustrates the many reasons users cite for choosing the tablet over other devices.It makes sense. Is it a better computer than your laptop? Probably not. Is it a superior platform for reading electronic books? Not necessarily. Is it the most convenient method of carrying and listening to your music collection? No. But, it has an advantage in that it is capable of doing all of those things--and doing them quite well in most cases--in one portable device. If you go on a trip and you can only take one device, which would you choose? If you take the [url=http://www.laptopspark.com/products/HP-ProBook-4420s-XT987UTABA-NoteBook-Intel-Core-i5-480M266GHz-14-4GB-Memory-DDR3-1066-500GB-HDD-7200rpm-DVD-Super-Multi-Intel-HD-Graphics-laptop-1130.html]HP ProBook 4420s (XT987UT#ABA) NoteBook Intel Core i5 480M(2.66GHz) 14" 4GB Memory DDR3 1066 500GB HDD 7200rpm DVD Super Multi Intel HD Graphics[/url], good luck reading a book by the pool, or rocking some tunes on your headphones while you take a walk. If you take the ereader, you will have the pool thing covered, and can probably listen to some music in most cases, but checking Facebook, writing an email, or editing an Excel file could be problematic. If you have a portable music player, you're probably stuck listening to music unless you have something like the iPod Touch. In that case, you essentially have a mini tablet, but the diminutive display is not ideal for reading books or getting any productive work done. Why is the tablet chosen over its mobile gadget rivals? According to Nielsen, the number one reason given is that is "easy to carry / take with you". Other reasons cited include: light weight, convenience, fast speed, fast startup and shutdown, and size. I am surprised that exceptional battery life wasn't listed as one of the top reasons. The tablet is the natural winner in the "if you could only take one device, which would it be?" challenge. There are some gadgets like the Nook Color, that can come close. But, although it is technically an ereader, its Android-based OS, and Barnes & Noble app store make it closer to a [url=http://www.laptopspark.com/products/HP-EliteBook-8540w-XT904UTABA-Notebook-Intel-Core-i7-640M280GHz-156-4GB-Memory-DDR3-1333-320GB-HDD-7200rpm-DVD-Super-Multi-NVIDIA-Quadro-FX-880M-laptop-1129.html]HP EliteBook 8540w (XT904UT#ABA) Notebook Intel Core i7 640M(2.80GHz) 15.6" 4GB Memory DDR3 1333 320GB HDD 7200rpm DVD Super Multi NVIDIA Quadro FX 880M[/url] than a Kindle. Of course, in order for the tablet to truly be a ‘post-PC' device and replace desktop or laptop PCs, Apple needs to cut the cord and not require a PC for activating, syncing, and updating the iPad. There are rumors that Apple is hard at work developing over-the-air updated for iOS 5 that might do just that. As tablets become more powerful from a hardware perspective, and the tablet OS and culture evolve, the trend away from traditional PCs will probably continue. [url=http://www.laptopspark.com/products/HP-G62-452SA-Laptop-Intel-CoreTM-i3-350M-226GHz-3GB-RAM-320GB-HDD-156-HD-DVD±RW-HDMI-Webcam-Windows-7-Home-Premium-laptop-509.html]HP G62-452SA Laptop, Intel? CoreTM i3-350M 2.26GHz, 3GB RAM, 320GB HDD, 15.6" HD, DVD±RW, HDMI, Webcam, Windows 7 Home Premium[/url] [url=http://www.laptopspark.com/products/HP-Pavilion-dm3-3010us-Notebook-Intel-Pentium-dual-core-U5400120GHz-133-4GB-Memory-320GB-HDD-7200rpm-Intel-HD-Graphics-laptop-2064.html]HP Pavilion dm3-3010us Notebook Intel Pentium dual-core U5400(1.20GHz) 13.3" 4GB Memory 320GB HDD 7200rpm Intel HD Graphics[/url]