Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 15, 2013 02:12 PM
While some version of HMV has been fighting the good fight for recorded music since the late 1800s, it looks like the retail chain’s ability to lift its fist to the air could soon be coming to an end.
While the brand outlasted plenty of other music retailers (Tower and Virgin come to mind), HMV is finally joining all those that have gone before it, seeking the British equivalent of bankruptcy protection and halting trading of its shares on Tuesday in the hopes that it will find a way to survive.
Not much has worked for the company since it started attempts to adapt back in 2007. Books, DVDs, and computer games are all not selling well there, either. As the BBC reported, the company failed to draw new customers as it broadened its offerings, causing disappointment among its core consumer base as CDs made room the number of CDs they could offer because of all of the new products.Continue reading...
sip on this
Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 7, 2013 01:14 PM
Patrick Dempsey may not be a doctor but he plays one on TV. And he may not be a barista, but he's not just playing one off-screen. While Dempsey may cause some to heat up quickly for his portrayal of the so-called Dr. McDreamy on ABC’s hit medical drama Grey’s Anatomy, he is about to help a whole other target audience stay alert and warm as well.
Dempsey and a few other moneyed partners calling themselves Global Baristas late last week signed a deal to shell out $9.16 million to buy the Seattle-based Tully’s Coffee brand, outbidding local coffee behemoth Starbucks for the honor of taking on the 500 employees of a company that filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last October. A U.S. bankruptcy court will review the bid on Friday, January 11th.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on November 30, 2012 01:28 PM
Eastman Kodak announced this week that it had the financing in place "to successfully execute its remaining reorganization objectives and emerge from Chapter 11 in the first half of 2013." Today, Kodak chairman and CEO Antonio M. Perez updated the progress toward that goal since filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January.
Perez, in the video above, discusses the four areas Kodak has been working on during this Chapter 11 reorganization period: resolving legacy costs and issues in the US around retiree pension benefits, with an agreement reached in October and downsizing of its US workforce; "increase liquidity in the US," its biggest cost center and lowest profit center (with $1B in sales outside America); selling off non-strategic IP and patents; and "focusing on our most valuable businesses" — namedly, commercial imaging, as it moves away from its consumer businesses.
"This is a difficult process," he states. "Neither our employees, customers or suppliers doubted why we were doing what we're doing, and they've been there with us all the way. So thank you, thank you all."
brands under fire
Posted by Shirley Brady on November 21, 2012 05:59 PM
As expected, following the failure of a court-ordered mediation at the 11th hour, Hostess Brands is moving ahead with liquidating the 82-year-old company and its assets, and laying off about 15,000 of its 18,500 employees. According to the company's statement today following the preliminary court hearing today:
Hostess Brands is winding down the Company after a nationwide strike initiated by the BCTGM that commenced on November 9th crippled its operations at a time when the Company lacked the financial resources to survive a significant labor action.
Among other provisions, the Court order allows Hostess Brands to return excess ingredients and packaging; provides liquidity through an amended debtor-in-possession financing agreement and consensual use of cash collateral; and authorizes the Company to implement a non-executive employee retention plan to ensure the Company has the necessary personnel to implement the wind down.
Hostess Brands said it intends to retain approximately 3,200 employees to assist with the initial phase of the wind down. Employee headcount is expected to decrease by 94% within the first 16 weeks of the wind down. The entire process is expected to be completed in one year.
The wind down was necessitated by an inflated cost structure that put the Company at a profound competitive disadvantage. The biggest component of the Company’s costs was its collective bargaining agreements that covered 15,000 of 18,500 employees.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on November 20, 2012 05:02 PM
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the president of the bakers union in court-ordered mediation with Hostess Brands said he's "not too optimistic" that a settlement will be reached or the company's liquidation plan (now adjourned to 11 a.m. EST on Wednesday) reversed:
In an interview Tuesday afternoon, Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union President Frank Hurt, who’s not attending the mediation being held in New York Tuesday afternoon, said he’s heard "not a word" about how the talks are going. But he doesn’t think a deal will be reached to head off the Twinkie maker’s liquidation because his members aren’t prepared to take the labor concessions Hostess says it needs to survive.
Will brand loyalists have more success convincing President Obama to nationalize Twinkies — or will Pabst ride to the rescue and save Twinkie the Kid? Stay tuned.
Update: The announcement that mediation failed came at 7:08 p.m. ET: "Hostess Brands Inc. announced today that a mediation today with the Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco and Grain Millers Union was unsuccessful. The Company will have no further comment until a hearing scheduled for tomorrow at 11 a.m., EST, before the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York"
Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 19, 2012 04:46 PM
Urban legend has it that Twinkies have an endless shelf life, but the folks at Hostess Brands didn’t have to worry about that this weekend. After the announcement came Friday that the company was going to shut down, Twinkies and all of the other baked goods cranked out by the company flew off store shelves this weekend. And some of them started showing up on eBay at ridiculously high prices. A ten-count box of Twinkies was listed with an opening bid of $200,000.
That price should be coming down because now the news comes that Twinkies may get to keep appearing on store shelves for a while to come. According to Reuters, Hostess, its lenders and the unions representing its striking workers reportedly "agreed to start mediation hearings on Tuesday at the urging of a bankruptcy court judge. A hearing on Monday during which the bankrupt maker of Twinkies snack cakes and Wonder Bread was set to ask for permission to liquidate was quickly adjourned until Wednesday after the judge urged the parties to mediate in private." Production remains shut down, as Hostess noted on its business site.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on November 16, 2012 11:25 AM
Jokes about Twinkies, Ho-Hos and Ding Dongs may never end. And it's possible that those names and even products, possibly even their parent brand, could live on.
But now, rather suddenly, Hostess Brands, the company that has made them all possible through the decades, has met its apparent end, with the CEO filing for bankruptcy Friday morning, a move he's been threatening while playing hardball with striking workers. The move means the end for the company that brought the world not only Twinkies, but also Wonder Bread, Dolly Madison, and a host(ess) of other branded baked goods.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on November 12, 2012 12:29 PM
Eastman Kodak Co. has reportedly arranged financing to exit from bankruptcy. Bloomberg hears that $739 million has been raised by the embattled photo giant's executives, enough to exit bankruptcy in the first half of 2013. "Funding is conditional on selling its patent portfolio for at least $500 million, progress in the sale of two business units and the resolution of the company’s U.K. pension obligations," Bloomberg notes.
In addition to laying off almost 4,000 employees worldside, the company is reducing costs by selling off unprofitable businesses, so it's selling, as Bloomberg notes, "its consumer- film, photo-kiosk and commercial-scanner businesses; continuing an extended effort to auction its digital-imaging patents; and shuttering its consumer inkjet printer sales."
“Since our Chapter 11 filing in January, we have focused on the businesses that are core to our future strategic direction and exited businesses that were unprofitable,” commented Antonio M. Perez, Chairman and CEO. “The actions we are taking in response to economic and market conditions are working and will position us to emerge in 2013 as a growing, profitable, sustainable company.”Continue reading...