COUGHLIN SEEKS DISMISSAL OF RETIREMENT-PAY SUIT
ormer vice chairman of Wal-Mart Stores here, is seeking dismissal of a suit filed by the company to void his multimillion-dollar retirement package and recover company funds that Wal-Mart said he illegally siphoned. Coughlin's lawyers filed a 20-page brief last week citing a release they said bars the company from canceling his retirement package. Wal-Mart spokesman Marty Heires characterized such releases as "pretty common" and said the retailer remains "confident in the merits of the case." Coughlin, a 27-year Wal-Mart veteran, retired in January and stepped down from Wal-Mart's board in March after an internal investigation turned up alleged evidence of fraud.
CONAWAY CLEARED OF FRAUD CHARGES: REPORT
TROY, Mich. -- Chuck Conaway, the former chief executive officer of Kmart here, has been cleared of wrongdoing in a civil case charging him with defrauding creditors in the runup to Kmart's bankruptcy, the Detroit News said last week. Kmart Creditors Trust sought $1.7 billion in damages from Conaway, four other former Kmart executives, and the accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, but is not entitled to damages from Conaway, the report said. Conaway served as Kmart's chairman between May 2000 and March 2002, when he was ousted after the retailer filed a massive Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
NEW YORK CITY COUNCIL APPROVES HEALTH CARE ACT
NEW YORK -- The City Council here last week voted to approve the Health Care Security Act, a measure that supporters called a "minimum wage on health care," aimed at big-box grocery stores such as Wal-Mart. The law in its pilot phase would apply to grocery stores with more than 35 employees and retail stores with 10,000 square feet of food. Employers meeting these criteria would be required to contribute $2.50 to $3 for health care for each hour their employees work -- which supporters say is the average the local grocery industry is contributing. "If I have to compete with low-road cost-cutting employers like Wal-Mart, it's going to be hard for me to continue to provide my employees with the care they deserve," John Catsimatides, chairman and chief executive officer of Gristedes, said in a statement. Mayor Michael Bloomberg reportedly plans to veto the bill. The City Council would have until November to override a veto. Wal-Mart, which has said it was hunting for store locations in New York, was not immediately available for comment.
UCCNET, TRANSORA COMPLETE MERGER, FORM 1SYNC
LAWRENCEVILLE, N.J. -- GS1 US, formerly the Uniform Code Council, said it has completed the merger of its UCCnet subsidiary with Chicago-based Transora, two providers of data pool services. The new, combined company, called 1SYNC, will operate as a not-for-profit subsidiary of GS1 US to help companies engage in data synchronization through the Global Data Synchronization Network (GDSN). 1SYNC will be headquartered here, with offices in Chicago, and will be led by Bob Noe, formerly Transora's chief executive officer. "1SYNC will help trading partners better work together to arrive at a single data synchronization solution," Noe said in a statement. "By combining the experiences of both companies and by collaborating with trading partners, Solution Partners and other GDSN data pools, we can help everyone realize value sooner and better avoid bottlenecks that result from inaccurate information that exists throughout the supply chain." 1SYNC represents more than 4,000 manufacturers and retail organizations in several industries.
A&P, METRO FINALIZE $1.5 BILLION TRANSACTION
MONTVALE, N.J. -- A&P here said last week that it has completed the previously announced sale of its Canadian business to Metro, and that it has taken a stake in the Montreal-based retailer as part of the transaction. A&P received $1.5 billion in cash, stock and debt assumed by Metro. The 18 million Metro shares give A&P approximately 15.8% ownership of the Canadian operator.