By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
RICHMOND, VA.— In order to focus attention on needed improvements in its retail business, Circuit City Stores has agreed to sell its private-label credit card business and co-branded Circuit City Plus Visa credit card accounts to Bank One. The deal, which is expected to help Circuit City eliminate any risk while still allowing the retailer to accrue similar profit numbers, should net Circuit about $355 million. The sale, conversely, will eliminate any upside for the chain from its credit operations. Last November, Circuit sold its Visa and MasterCard bankcard business to FleetBoston Financial for $1.3 billion. Circuit expects to incur an after-tax loss of about $10 million for transaction-related expenses with Bank One. Closing of the sale should be completed in the second calendar quarter.
MADISON, WIS.— Battery maker Rayovac has signed an agreement to acquire 85 percent of Chinese alkaline and heavy-duty battery maker Ningbo Baowang for $24 million, an acquisition which is expected to increase earnings per share in the first year. The purchase — spurred by rapid growth of the alkaline battery market in China, as well as expansion of Rayovac's global customers throughout Asia — allows the company to increase its manufacturing capacity in Asia. Ningbo Baowang, which produces batteries for retail, OEM and private-label, and exports to North America, is expected to do $35 million in sales in 2004.
WILMINGTON, DEL.— Sony and Bank One have teamed to roll out the Sony Card, a versatile rewards credit card that gives customers numerous opportunities to earn Sony rewards with everyday purchases. Rewards include Sony CDs, DVDs and games. National advertising is supporting the start-up.
LIBERTY CORNER, N.J.— Fedders North America has completed new financing, issuing $155 million of 9 7/8 percent Senior Notes, due 2014, and repurchasing about $128.2 million, or 85.4 percent, of the $150 million outstanding principal amount of its 9 3/8 Senior Subordinated Notes, due 2007. Fedders is reorganizing its corporate structure so subsidiaries engaged primarily in domestic operations will become direct or indirect subsidiaries of Fedders North America, and those engaged principally in international operations will become direct or indirect subsidiaries of Fedders International.
WASHINGTON— XM Satellite Radio is selling $125 million principal amount of Senior Secured Floating Rate Notes, due 2009, to institutional buyers. The notes are guaranteed by XM Satellite Radio Holdings, parent of XM Satellite Radio. Use of the proceeds would be to reduce drawn balances outstanding under the company's $100 million revolving credit facility, and for general corporate purposes. This includes possible repayment of other debt and replacement of liquidity resources employed to repay a $35 million loan, expected to be repaid by XM Satellite Radio Holdings, concurrent with the completion of the notes offering.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.