CARSON’S CONTINUING PURSUIT OF YOUNKERS DESPITE REJECTION

Byline: Valerie Seckler

NEW YORK — Carson Pirie Scott & Co. said Tuesday it will not be thwarted by Younkers’ assertion that Carson’s $17 cash tender offer is inadequate.
Edward Carroll, an executive vice president at Carson’s, said the Milwaukee-based retailer will proceed to seek approval of a stockholder referendum to put Younkers up for auction, should the cash tender fall short.
In addition, Carson’s will still try to get its own nominees to replace the three Younkers board directors up for reelection at the retailer’s May 17 annual meeting.
According to Carroll, the three directors up for reelection are W. Thomas Gould, chairman and chief executive officer; Ferd O. Lawson, retail consultant and former chief executive officer of Frederick Atkins, and G. David Hurd, chairman and ceo of Principal Financial Group.
Younkers officials could not be reached for comment.
Stanton J. Bluestone, president and ceo of Carson’s, said in a statement that Carson’s is “surprised that our offer has been characterized as grossly inadequate given the negative trend in Younkers’ earnings over the last two years.”
Bluestone said Carson’s is “dismayed to learn that the Younkers board of directors authorized golden parachute contracts for 13 executives.”
Following five quarters of weak earnings, a wild card in the dealmaking will be Younkers’ results for the fourth quarter ending Jan. 28. The retailer, based in Des Moines, Iowa, started strong in the quarter, said analysts, but promoted heavily in December and still turned in comparable-store gains of just 3.4 percent for the month.
— Fairchild News Service

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