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Former Home Depot exec joins facilities firm

BY HBSDealer Staff

According to an article in the Chicago Tribune, former Home Depot executive Matthew Pitts has joined SMS Assist as chief operating officer. 

At Atlanta-based Home Depot, Pitts was VP building services and had worked at the retailer for about 20 years. SMS is a facilities maintenance company based in Chicago. It serves about 24,000 locations.

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Gift cards going mobile

BY HBSDEALER Staff

A survey conducted in September at the annual Shop.org Retail Summit in Boston showed that that almost half of all retailers surveyed planned to offer eGifting this holiday season, and 44% were looking at location-based deals as a key element of their mobile marketing strategy. 

The survey, sponsored by CashStar, found a growing number of concerns among retailers about the lack of personalization of gift cards. 

“As consumers increasingly turn to their smartphones, retailers need to adapt and look at how gift cards and location-based deals can complement each other," said David Stone, CEO of CashStar.

Of those retailers surveyed, 72% planned to increase their mobile marketing spend this year, with 6% planning to increase it significantly. Only 2% of survey respondents planned to decrease their mobile marketing spend. When it comes to mobile marketing, mobile coupons were the most popular offering (64%) followed by location-based deals (44%). 

Retailers are planning to promote to the last minute — 42% of those surveyed plan to stop holiday promotions on the last day consumers can ship an item and have it arrive in time for Christmas, but 32% plan to continue their promotions to Christmas Eve.

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Onex completes investment in Jeld-Wen

BY Ken Clark

Onex Corp. has announced the completion of its investment in window and door manufacturer Jeld-Wen Holding and looks forward to the eventual recovery in housing markets around the world.

“This is a very exciting time for Jeld-Wen,” commented Rod Wendt, CEO of Klamath Falls, Ore.-based Jeld-Wen.  “We believe that Onex’s strategic guidance and experience combined with our strong balance sheet, brand and market position will allow us to further grow the company and strengthen our competitive position."

The total investment of $871 million includes $689 million from Onex Partners III, of which Onex’s share was $124 million as a limited partner in the Fund, and Onex’s $182 million investment as a co-investor in the transaction. Onex intends to offer a portion of this co-investment to its third-party limited partners. With the completion of the Jeld-Wen investment, Onex Partners III is approximately 40% invested.

The Onex Group’s total investment of $871 million includes: $700 million of convertible preferred stock to acquire a 58% ownership stake and a $171 million convertible note that can be redeemed within 18 months with proceeds from the sale of certain non-core assets and, if not redeemed, will convert into additional shares of convertible preferred stock. In connection with the acquisition, Jeld-Wen completed a $460 million bond offering, the proceeds of which in combination with the Onex Group’s investment were used to refinance the company’s existing debt.

The balance of the company continues to be owned by the trust of the late founder. Richard Wendt, members of the Wendt family, Jeld-Wen employees and other existing shareholders.  Jeld-Wen’s corporate culture remains firmly rooted and intact, with the company continuing to be privately owned.

“As an industry-leading business with tremendous brand awareness, strong market positioning and truly global operations, Jeld-Wen fits very well with our investment approach,” said Anthony Munk, a managing director of Onex. “We are excited to be working with the Jeld-Wen team to build value and take advantage of the eventual recovery in global housing markets.” 

In August, Philip Orsino, Onex’s building products industrial partner, was appointed by the Jeld-Wen board of directors as Jeld-Wen’s president. Orsino was formerly the CEO of Masonite International until 2005 and has spent more than 25 years in the global door and window manufacturing business. Orsino is now responsible for Jeld-Wen’s day-to-day operations and is working with the management team to improve the company’s overall operational and financial performance.

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