Management Turnover as Change Agent

Friday, January 4, 2008

Zale CEO Change - Update 1

Activist investor and former SEC Commissioner Richard Breeden has further increased his holdings of Zale stock. The additional increase in Breeden's holdings came after Neal Goldberg, the former president of children's retailer The Children's Place, was appointed CEO of Zale (see earlier blog post) on December 20th. CNN Money on January 2 reported,
Activist investor Breeden Capital Management LLC has increased its stake in Zale Corp. to 13.3 percent, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission Wednesday.

The Greenwich, Conn.-based investment fund reported owning 5.9 million shares, or a 13.3 percent stake in the jewelry store operator. In September, Breeden reported owning about 3.8 million Zale shares, or a 7.7 percent stake.
Speculation is running as to the reasons behind Breeden's increase in ownership. According to today's New York Post,
... (the increase) sparked speculation that Breeden is pushing Zale - the largest US jewelry chain by number of stores - to sell off assets and prepare itself for a sale to Signet Group. The British-based rival, which owns the Kay Jewelers and Jared chains, had pushed for merger talks with Zale in the spring of 2006, only to be rebuffed by Zale's board.
Stay tuned:

SeekingAlpha (Update 1/8/08)

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