Investor pushes Macy's on real estate
Activist investor Starboard Value wants Macy's to tap the value of its real estate assets by splitting them off into separate companies. Starboard's plan published Monday urged the department store operator to create two joint ventures. One would hold its properties in New York, San Francisco and other major cities, while the other would hold its mall properties. Altogether, Starboard said the department store's real estate is worth about $21 billion. Creating the joint ventures with real estate partners could boost the value of Macy's stock to $70, Starboard said, nearly double what it's currently worth. Starboard has a 1 percent stake in Macy's, according to FactSet. Macy's said it received the plan from Starboard and is reviewing it. Last year, Macy's said it was exploring joint ventures to redevelop some of its properties, including the ones in New York and San Francisco.
Arch Coal files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy
The beginning of bankruptcy proceedings for the nation's second-biggest coal company cast another dark cloud over the economy of Wyoming and other states in the top coal-producing region. St. Louis-based Arch Coal Inc. said its Chapter 11 filing won't affect employee pay or benefits while the company reorganized its debt. The company said the bankruptcy process will not result in mine closures or layoffs, and coal deliveries will continue without interruption. Longer-term, the company isn't ruling out closures and layoffs, depending on the coal market. Two Arch mines in Wyoming and one in Colorado together employ 2,100 people. Arch's Black Thunder mine in Wyoming is the world's biggest coal-mining complex. Wyoming mines supply about 40 percent of the nation's coal. Low natural-gas prices drove U.S. coal production to the lowest levels in three decades last year.
GE Healthcare is moving its headquarters
GE Healthcare is moving its corporate headquarters from the United Kingdom to Chicago, its chief executive said Monday. John L. Flannery said he didn't yet know how many jobs would come to Chicago but that only his "senior executive leadership team" is making the move. The General Electric subsidiary plans to move into office space already leased by GE Transportation in downtown Chicago sometime in the first half of this year, he said. City officials have not offered any tax incentives to help finance the move, which is motivated by GE Healthcare's need to be closer to its largest market, Flannery said. Though 60 percent of GE Healthcare's business is overseas, the U.S. remains the largest single market for its digital imaging, information technology and life sciences business.
Investors seek to buy American Apparel
An investor group wants to buy American Apparel for about $300 million and bring back the clothing chain's founder and former CEO Dov Charney, who was fired from American Apparel in 2014 following allegations that he had violated the company's sexual harassment policy. Charney denied those charges. The investors, Hagan Capital Group and Silver Creek Capital Partners, said Monday that they have submitted a bid. American Apparel said in a statement Monday that it evaluates all bids and that it is focusing on emerging from bankruptcy protection. The Los Angeles company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in October. American Apparel, which Charney founded in 1998, sells its clothing in 218 stores around the world.
Blue Bell says its ice cream is safe
Blue Bell Creameries is reassuring customers that its ice cream is safe as it tries to determine if listeria has again been found at one of its facilities. The Texas company is returning its products to stores following contamination last year that prompted a national recall. The company announced Friday that the bacteria may have been detected at one of its three plants, though it didn't say which one. The company has plants in Texas, Alabama and Oklahoma. In an e-mail Monday, Blue Bell insisted its products were safe. Blue Bell recalled its products in April, after its ice cream was linked to 10 listeria cases, including three deaths in Kansas. Listeria can cause serious illness, especially in older adults, pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems.