ROSS SEEKS SHARES: Off-price retailer Ross Stores Inc. said it is seeking shareholder approval to double the number of authorized common shares to 600 million, according to a proxy filed Friday with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The company said it estimates it had around 122 million unissued and unreserved shares available as of March 22. Ross said the proposed increase will provide it with the flexibility needed to meet corporate needs. The shares may be used for such purposes as stock dividends or splits, equity financing, acquisitions or equity incentives for employees. The company doesn’t have any plans to use the additional shares, according to the filing.
SETTLING SUN: Defendants of a copyright infringement case brought by Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. have agreed to settle the matter for $345,000. According to the settlement, the defendants, which numbered more than 12, are required to destroy within 10 days all remaining inventory and screens used to copy Pacific Sunwear’s art designs.
GENESCO GOES HEAD TO TOE: Genesco Inc. completed the acquisition of Hat World Corp., the Indianapolis-based specialty retailer of licensed and branded headwear. The total purchase price for Hat World, which operates 481 stores, was $177.4 million in cash, including adjustments for $11.1 million of net cash acquired and for working capital and certain tax benefits. The deal is subject to further post-closing adjustments. Genesco funded the acquisition and associated expenses with debt of $100 million and the balance from cash on hand. In addition, Genesco, which has more than 1,040 stores, entered into new credit facilities totaling $175 million with 10 banks, led by Bank of America N.A. as administrative agent, to fund a portion of the purchase price and to replace its existing revolving credit facility. Hal Pennington, Genesco’s president and chief executive, said in a statement, “Hat World brings an impressive track record of growth, a strong management team and a culture that is very similar to ours. We believe there is a tremendous strategic fit between Hat World and our other concepts and that, using the skills we have developed in growing our Journeys and Underground Station concepts, we can grow Hat World by 400 to 500 stores over time.”