News Briefs

Novell sells a half-billion-dollars worth of convertibles; consumer confidence surges; former Rite Aid execs start jail terms; Friedman's Inc. president resigns; Adecco shareholders revamp board.

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  • Novell Inc. raised $500 million from the sales of 20-year senior convertible bonds in the private placement market. They have a coupon of 0.50 percent and were priced at a premium of 40 percent above Monday’s $8.23 closing price of the company’s common shares.
  • The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index surged eight points in June, further buoying confidence in the overall economy.
  • Former Rite Aid Corp. chief executive Martin Grass, former CFO Franklyn Bergonzi, and former corporate real-estate vice president Philip Markovitz, earlier this week began serving federal conspiracy sentences stemming from the drug-store chain’s massive accounting scandal in the late 1990s.
  • Doug Anderson resigned as president and chief operating officer of Friedman’s Inc., the Jewelry retailer. The Securities and Exchange Commission and Justice Department are investigating Friedman’s for possible fraud. In the past few months, most of the company’s top managers have left. The company said Sam Cusano, who was named CEO last week, would assume the role of president.
  • Adecco shareholders approved the revamping of the board of directors the company, which is embroiled in an accounting scandal. Among the new board members at the Switzerland-based, temporary-staffing company, are Jakob Baer, CEO of KPMG Switzerland; Juergen Dormann, chairman and CEO of ABB; Francis Mer, the former French finance minister; and Peter Ueberroth, the former baseball commissioner and a director of Coca-Cola.

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