week it has raised its equity stake in Wild Oats Markets, Boulder, Colo., to 17.3%. According to a 13-D filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Yucaipa spent approximately $7.3 million to purchase 496,000 additional common shares, at an average price of approximately $16.38 per share, through two entities to boost its total ownership position to approximately 5.1 million shares. The filing said Yucaipa had not anticipated acquiring additional shares of Wild Oats stock because of the possibly dilutive effects, unless the company's directors amended the Stockholders Rights Plan to enable acquiring entities to purchase up to 20% of common shares, rather than 15%, without triggering "certain adverse consequences" - a change the board made in late March.
BENTONVILLE, Ark. - Thomas M. Coughlin, the former vice chairman of Wal-Mart Stores, was sentenced to 27 months of house arrest and ordered to repay more than $400,000 for stealing from his longtime employer. He pleaded guilty in January to five counts of federal wire fraud and one count of tax evasion in the theft of as much as $500,000 in company funds, which prosecutors said he accomplished using stolen gift cards and false invoices to fund personal purchases. Coughlin claimed he was reimbursing himself for his expenses in a secret anti-union campaign. Court documents reviewed by SN showed he was ordered to pay $411,218 in restitution to Wal-Mart and $104,395.60 to the Internal Revenue Service. He also was ordered to pay a $50,000 fine. According to reports, his doctors had argued that his numerous health problems made him too "frail" for prison.
TOKYO - Seven & I here, parent of the 7-Eleven convenience store chain, said it has acquired Chicago-based White Hen Pantry for $35 million. White Hen franchises 206 convenience stores, mostly in the Chicago area, and has another 55 c-stores in the Boston area operated by a regional licensee. Seven & I said White Hen had operating income of $44 million in 2005. Separately, Laval, Quebec-based Alimentation Couche-Tard, operator of Circle K stores, said it had acquired 24 Florida Gulf region convenience stores from Sparky's Oil, Plant City, Fla., for an undisclosed price, and would rebanner the stores under the Circle K name. The stores had sales of $84 million in 2005.
COLTON, Calif. - Stater Bros. Markets here said last week it is planning a year-long celebration to mark its 70th anniversary. The celebration will feature customer-appreciation and food-sampling events throughout the year, particularly during a four-week anniversary sale scheduled to run Sept. 27 through Oct. 24, the company said. The anniversary year will see the company relocate to a new, 2.1-million-square-foot facility in nearby San Bernardino, encompassing a new corporate office scheduled to open in May and a new distribution center scheduled to open next August; four new stores; and 25 store remodels. Founded by twin brothers Cleo and Leo Stater on Aug. 17, 1936, the company has grown to 162 stores and annual sales of $3.4 billion.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Winn-Dixie Stores here said that it has completed the sale of its 12 supermarkets in the Bahamas to BSL Holdings for about $54 million. BSL plans to continue to operate the nine City Market and three Winn-Dixie locations, Winn-Dixie said. The sale was part of Winn-Dixie's streamlining as it seeks to emerge from bankruptcy later this year.