Hines Horticulture seeks to sell assets to Black Diamond
Hines Horticulture, which filed for Chapter 11 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware on Aug. 20, will seek to sell its assets to hedge fund Black Diamond Capital Management, the Irvine, Calif.-based company announced.
Hines is one of the largest producers of ornamental shrubs, color plants and container-grown plants in the country.
Black Diamond, which is Hines’ largest unsecured creditor and the holder of a majority of its $175 million in senior subordinated notes, has agreed to serve as the “stalking-horse bidder” for Hines. A “stalking-horse” bid is the first bid on a bankrupt company’s assets, from a bidder chosen by the bankrupt company.
According to court papers, Black Diamond is in the midst of due diligence — which needs to be completed by Sept. 19 — and Hines has offered to pay the fund a $225,000 work fee as an incentive to finish it in short order.
Documents show that the stalking-horse bid is worth up to $58 million in cash, which would pay off Black Diamond’s debts, plus $500,000 in wind-down costs.
Hines pursued several possible restructuring alternatives in the months before its bankruptcy filing, including a sale of all or pieces of the business, a new debt or equity infusion or a balance sheet restructuring.
Hines sells its goods to more than 1,180 retail and commercial customers, including Home Depot, Wal-Mart and many small local garden centers, representing a total of more than 6,670 outlets throughout the country. Hines’ products are mostly sold under the “Hines Nurseries” trade name. The debtor operates seven commercial nurseries where plants are grown for sale to retailers and other businesses.
Lowe’s appoints 12th member to board of directors
Lowe’s has announced the appointment of S. Thomas Moser to its board of directors, as well as to the board’s governance and audit committees. With the appointment, Lowe’s board increases to 12 members, with 11 of them being independent directors.
Moser, 61, served as vice chairman of KPMG, the U.S. member firm of KPMG International, from 1998 until his retirement in February 2008. He joined KPMG in 1970, became an audit partner and held several positions, including national director-retail and consumer products, vice chair-consumer and industrial, vice chair-industries and vice chair-strategy. He served as a member of the firm’s board of directors and management committee.
“Tom Moser’s depth and breadth of experience with KPMG will be an asset to the Lowe’s board of directors,” said Robert A. Niblock, Lowe’s chairman and CEO. “The board and I look forward to working with him.”
Moser received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He serves on the board of directors and insurance and operations committee of New York Life Insurance Co. He also serves on the board of directors of the global nonprofit organization Students in Free Enterprise.
Logano replaces Stewart on Home Depot NASCAR team
Joe Gibbs Racing has announced that Joey Logano, called one of the “sport’s brightest emerging stars” in a press release from the racing team, will replace Tony Stewart in the Home Depot-sponsored Sprint Cup No. 20 Toyota team in 2009 “and beyond.”
Eighteen-year-old Logano will make his NASCAR Spring Cup series debut on Sept. 6 at Richmond International Raceway in a Home Depot-sponsored car “featuring a reverse color scheme and bearing the No. 02,” according to Joe Gibbs Racing.
Greg Zipadelli, crew chief of the No. 20 Home Depot Toyota NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for the past 10 years, will remain atop the pit box as Logano’s crew chief.
Stewart recently announced he would leave Joe Gibbs Racing to drive for the team Haas-CNC, which he co-owns, at the end of the season.
“Home Depot is thrilled to welcome Joey Logano as the new driver of the No. 20 Home Depot car,” said Frank Bifulco, senior vp and chief marketing officer for Home Depot. “To have such a talented, young driver, with a bright future join the team truly makes this a special opportunity for our NASCAR program. We’re also extremely gratified to continue to be working with Joe Gibbs Racing and Greg Zipadelli, as we have had great success together over the past decade.”
Home Depot also sponsors NASCAR through its status as the “Official Home Improvement Retailer of NASCAR.” The retailer has sponsored the No. 20 Home Depot Racing team for the past 10 years.