Chico’s FAS Adopts Limited Duration Shareholder Rights Plan

Chico's FAS, Inc. announced that its Board of Directors adopted a limited duration shareholder rights plan. In adopting the Rights Plan, the Board has taken note of the unprecedented impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic on equity market valuations, including the dislocation in the Company's stock price. Given the current environment and trading levels as well as the importance of maintaining focus on the Company's operations, safeguarding the welfare of employees and serving customers, the Board believes adopting the Rights Plan is in the best interest of all Chico's FAS shareholders. The Rights Plan has a one-year duration, expiring on April 1, 2021.
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US ecommerce sales rise 25% since beginning of March (digitalcommerce360.com)

Online sales in the U.S. have increased 25% on average for daily sales March 13-15 compared with average daily sales March 1-11, according to Adobe Analytics. The growth is largely due to a boost in online grocery sales, which have increased 100% in daily online sales March 13-15 compared with average daily sales March 1-11. Adobe Analytics data is based on online sales data from trillions of anonymous visits to retail sites and tens of millions of product SKUs from 80 of the top 100 retailers in the Digital Commerce 360 Top 1000. Data is based on 18 product categories including apparel, electronics, home, grocery, appliance, personal care, office supplies, books, jewelry, furniture and toys, among others. Not only are online sales growing, but so are pickup orders, Adobe Analytics finds. The number of orders shoppers have bought online and picked up in store has also increased 62% year over year during Feb. 24-March 24.
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The print & paper industry supports campaign to raise money for coronavirus victims

Connections, the e-commerce and inserts sampling arm of independent media agency The Specialist Works, has partnered with Denmaur Paper Media and Go Inspire Group to launch a pro-bono campaign for the National Emergencies Trust. The campaign aims to drive online donations to support those affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The unique collaboration will see 1.5 million inserts delivered to households through parcel deliveries, donated from the likes of Bloom and Wild, Hello Fresh, Debenhams and Toucan Box. While most of the UK population are at home, parcel inserts were chosen as the primary media channel for this campaign. Creative, media planning, buying and distribution have all been donated by inserts business Connections by The Specialist Works. Denmaur Paper Media donated eight tonnes worth of 150gm2 gloss paper to the campaign, Carbon Balanced through the World Land Trust, and print production has been donated by the Eclipse arm of the Go Inspire Group.
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Pearson announces completion of sale of remaining 25% stake in Penguin Random House

Pearson, the world’s learning company, has completed the sale of its remaining 25% stake in Penguin Random House for approximately $675m (£530m1) to Bertelsmann SE & Co KGaA (“Bertelsmann”). The transaction was announced on 18th December 2019 and completes Pearson’s exit from the venture which, going forward, will be wholly owned by Bertelsmann. In our announcement in December, we stated our intention to return £350m of net proceeds to our shareholders through a share buyback programme, which we subsequently commenced in early 2020. In our trading update on 23rd March, in light of the rapidly changing environment caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, we further stated that the Board had decided it was prudent to pause the share buyback with approximately £167m of the £350m share repurchase programme completed to date.
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Barnes & Noble stops selling magazines while coronavirus rages (nypost.com)

No new magazines will be sold at Barnes & Noble while the coronavirus rages, Media Ink has learned. Barnes & Noble, which earlier this week said it was temporarily shutting 400 of its 620 stores due to the pandemic, is now telling magazine publishers to halt shipments of all magazines to its remaining stores. “It will probably be a bigger deal for smaller publishers who count on the money they get upfront from B&N,” said one industry veteran, who noted that big newsstand titles, like Hearst’s Cosmopolitan and Meredith’s People, are far more reliant on other retailers.
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Time magazine pledges no layoffs for 3 months amid pandemic (nypost.com)

The billionaire owner of Time magazine has issued a moratorium on layoffs even as other news organizations slash pay amid a coronavirus-inspired ad slump. “TIME is pledging no layoffs for 90 days,” Time’s editor-in-chief and CEO, Ed Felsenthal, tweeted late Sunday. “We will also continue to ensure our hourly workers are paid while our offices are closed,” Felsensthal added before giving a shout-out to Time’s billionaire owners. “Grateful for our immensely dedicated employees and the support of our owners Marc and Lynne @benioff in our mission especially at this moment,” Felsenthal said.
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HC to Buy Egmont Book Groups in the U.K. Poland, and Germany (publishersweekly.com)

In a deal that increases its international footprint, HarperCollins has agreed to acquire three children’s book publishing operations currently owned by Danish publisher Egmont. The acquisition is expected to be completed by April 30. Under the agreement, HC will buy Egmont Books UK, Egmont’s book business in Poland, and the German unit Schneiderbuch. Egmont’s magazine publishing operations are not part of the deal. HC executives said Egmont’s strength in the children’s licensing business was one of the keys to the acquisition.
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Walgreens Boots Alliance Reports Fiscal 2020 Second Quarter Results

Fiscal 2020 second quarter net earnings attributable to WBA decreased 18.2 percent to $946 million compared with the same quarter a year ago, while net earnings per share1 decreased 14.0 percent to $1.07 compared with the same quarter a year ago. Sales in the second quarter were $35.8 billion, an increase of 3.7 percent from the year-ago quarter, and an increase of 4.1 percent on a constant currency basis. Effects from the COVID-19 pandemic began at the end of the second quarter and were not material to overall results. Compared to the same quarter a year ago, operating income was $1.2 billion, a decrease of 18.7 percent, and adjusted operating income was $1.7 billion, a decrease of 12.0 percent, on both a reported and constant currency basis, reflecting lower U.S. pharmacy gross margin and year-over-year bonus changes, partially offset by cost savings from the Transformational Cost Management Program.
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Grazia Magazine Publishes Four Split Covers Featuring Four Frontline NHS Workers for NHS Dedicated Issue

Bauer Media’s GRAZIA magazine publishes a special issue this week celebrating NHS frontline workers, as a way of saying thanks for their selfless dedication to the UK population. The title took the unprecedented step of photographing four frontline NHS Workers in NHS car-parks, maintaining social distancing, for four split front covers and images for its editorial feature. Deputy Features editor Anna Silverman interviewed each frontline worker, who revealed their new reality working amid the Coronavirus crisis. This special issue of GRAZIA is being offered FREE to all NHS staff as a digital download. The NHS frontline workers featured are: Dr Janitha Gowribalan, 35, an anaesthetist and intensive care doctor at Whittington Hospital, north London, Dr Rosena Allin-Khan, Labour MP for Tooting, and an A&E doctor, Sarah Blanchard, 27, a paramedic in Essex and Richenda Browne, 29, a senior staff nurse in the emergency department at King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.
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News Corp Announces Sale of News America Marketing to Charlesbank Capital Partners

News Corp announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell its News America Marketing business to Charlesbank Capital Partners, a private equity firm with offices in Boston and New York. Under the terms of the agreement, News Corp will receive cash consideration of up to approximately $235 million, comprised of $50 million in cash upon closing of the transaction and additional deferred cash payments in an aggregate amount of between $125 million and approximately $185 million, depending on the timing of such payments. The deferred consideration is payable on or before the five-year anniversary of closing. Additionally, News Corp has the opportunity to benefit from NAM’s future success through an option to retain up to 15% equity in the business (5% at closing and 10% five-year warrant). The purchase price is subject to customary working capital and other adjustments. Please see News Corp’s Form 8-K to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission for more information.
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