Visa Commits to Strategic Investment in Klarna; Companies Plan Partnership Deal

NEW YORK and COPENHAGEN, Denmark, 2017-Jun-29 — /EPR Retail News/ — Visa (NYSE:V) and Klarna announced they have reached an agreement for Visa to invest in Klarna, and intend to develop a future strategic partnership. Klarna is one of Europe’s fastest growing online payments companies, serving 60 million consumers and 70,000 retailers.

The equity investment and planned partnership demonstrate Visa and Klarna’s shared vision to accelerate online and mobile commerce for the benefit of consumers and merchants across Europe. The announcement was made at Money 20/20 being held in Copenhagen through June 28.

Visa’s planned investment is part of a global strategy to open up the Visa ecosystem and support a broad range of new partners who are helping to redefine and enhance the purchase experience for millions of consumers globally. Klarna develops products that address changing consumer preferences, giving them the flexibility and seamless experience they expect when shopping.

“Klarna has demonstrated an expertise in consumer credit and online purchasing and together, we share a vision for how today’s online and mobile commerce experiences can be as simple as they are in the real world,” said Jim McCarthy, executive vice president, innovation and strategic partnerships, Visa Inc. “Visa is committed to partnering with a new generation of partners and payment providers to bring secure, online commerce to many more consumers in Europe. We look forward to working more closely with Klarna to accomplish this.”

“The Visa and Klarna partnership is a natural fit. We both understand consumer credit and the value of consumer centricity in developing innovative payment solutions,” said Sebastian Siemiatkowski, chief executive officer and co-founder of Klarna.

“Klarna continually strives to offer the most advanced choice of payment solutions for our merchants and give consumers the smoothest buying experiences.  Partnering with Visa will give us the opportunity to strengthen our global presence and product portfolio by leveraging our combined assets. We are excited about the possibilities of what we can do together.”

According to Forrester, Europe is expected to see double-digit growth in online sales in the coming years.  By 2021, the growth in the number of connected devices and improvements in mobile connectivity will drive online sales to reach 12 percent of the region’s total retail sales.  Additionally, online retail sales are expected to grow at an average rate of 12 percent per year over the next five years in Western Europe.

 

About Visa

Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions, and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable electronic payments. We operate one of the world’s most advanced processing networks — VisaNet — that is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second, with fraud protection for consumers and assured payment for merchants. Visa is not a bank and does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers. Visa’s innovations, however, enable its financial institution customers to offer consumers more choices: pay now with debit, pay ahead with prepaid or pay later with credit products. For more information, visit our website (www.visaeurope.com), the Visa Vision blog (vision.visaeurope.com), and @VisaInEurope

 

About Klarna
Klarna is one of Europe’s leading payments providers that aims to make the payment process simple, smooth and safe for customers and its merchant partners. Klarna works together with 70,000 merchants to offer payment solutions to more than 60 million users in Europe and North America. Klarna, headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, has 1,500 employees and is active in 18 countries. The company was founded in 2005 was recently named as one of the top disrupter companies in the world by CNBC.

Topaz to invest €33 million in its retail network in 2017

DUBLIN, IRELAND, 2016-Oct-06 — /EPR Retail News/ — Topaz announced it is set to invest €33 million in its retail network in 2017 creating over 200 jobs in the process.

Niall Anderton MD of Topaz and Jørn Madsen, Executive Vice-President, Central Eastern Europe and Ireland, Couche-Tard pictured at the Topaz Dealer Summit at The Lyrath Estate Hotel, Kilkenny, as Topaz announced it is set to invest €33 million in its retail network in 2017 creating over 200 jobs in the process.

In the past 24 months, Topaz has invested €36.1 million in its retail network with investment going towards the development of its Re.Store brand, the upgrade and rebrand of the recently acquired Esso network, and the development of major Topaz sites at City Avenue in Dublin and Ballysimon in Limerick. Over 200 dealers in total from the Topaz network attended today’s dealer summit.

Contact:

Topaz Head Office Tel: +353 (0)1 202 8888
Topaz Home Heat: Tel: 1850 250 650
Topaz Fax: +353 (0) 1 282 8320

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Topaz to invest €33 million in its retail network in 2017
Topaz to invest €33 million in its retail network in 2017

 

Source: Topaz

Leonard Green & Partners to invest $625 million in Signet Jewelers Limited in the form of convertible preferred shares

HAMILTON, Bermuda, 2016-Aug-27 — /EPR Retail News/ — Signet Jewelers Limited (NYSE:SIG), the world’s largest retailer of diamond jewelry, announced today (August 25, 2016 ) that affiliates of Leonard Green & Partners, L.P. (“LGP”), a leading private equity firm, will invest $625 million in the form of convertible preferred shares. Signet will use the proceeds from the LGP investment to fund a repurchase of up to $625 mm in common stock either in the open market or through privately negotiated transactions. In conjunction with this transaction, Signet will expand its Board of Directors from ten to eleven and appoint Jonathan Sokoloff to the Signet Board upon the closing of the transaction, which is expected to occur in the third quarter of FY 2017.

Mark Light, Chief Executive Officer of Signet Jewelers, said, “We are very pleased to announce this strategic partnership with Leonard Green, one of the most experienced and successful investors in the retail industry. For more than 25 years, Leonard Green has successfully partnered with some of the best known companies in the retail sector and worked to create significant shareholder value. We view Leonard Green’s significant investment in Signet as a strong vote of confidence in our business and its long term growth prospects.”

Todd Stitzer, Chairman of Signet Jewelers, said, “We found in Leonard Green a long term partner who will provide a strong foundation to our shareholder base and will bring additional retail and financial expertise to our Board of Directors to help us further grow and shape the Signet portfolio of brands in a continuously evolving retail landscape.”

Jonathan Sokoloff added, “Signet Jewelers is an outstanding company – an innovator in its industry with some of the world’s most recognizable store banners and jewelry brands. We are pleased to make this investment and look forward to our partnership with the Board and management team.”

The investment by Green Equity Investors VI, L.P., an affiliate of LGP, in Signet will include the following terms:

  • $625mm in convertible preference shares
  • The convertible preference shares accrue a 5% p.a. dividend, payable quarterly in arrears, in cash or by increasing the liquidation preference, at the option of Signet
  • The preference shares will be convertible into Signet common shares at a premium of 18% to the volume weighted average price of the common shares for the 20 trading days immediately following Signet’s second quarter earnings announcement on August 25, 2016, with a maximum conversion price of $100 per share
  • LGP will be subject to a two year lock-up period and Signet will also have the right to force conversion after two years subject to Signet’s common shares achieving a specific price threshold

As a part of the transaction, Signet is increasing its Board authorized share repurchase program by $625 million, bringing the total authorization to$1.1 billion when combined with the $511 million remaining under the previously authorized repurchase program. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of FY 2017, subject to the receipt of customary regulatory approvals. Additional information regarding the investment will be included in a Form 8-K to be filed today by Signet with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

J.P. Morgan Securities LLC acted as financial advisor and Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP acted as legal advisor to Signet. Guggenheim Securitiesacted as financial advisor and Latham & Watkins LLP acted as legal advisor to Leonard Green & Partners, L.P.

About Signet
Signet Jewelers Limited is the world’s largest retailer of diamond jewelry. Signet operates approximately 3,600 stores primarily under the name brands of Kay Jewelers, Zales, Jared The Galleria Of Jewelry, H.Samuel, Ernest Jones, Peoples and Piercing Pagoda. Further information on Signet is available at www.signetjewelers.com. See also www.kay.com, www.zales.com, www.jared.com, www.hsamuel.co.ukwww.ernestjones.co.uk, www.peoplesjewellers.com and www.pagoda.com.

About Leonard Green & Partners
Leonard Green & Partners, L.P. is a leading private equity investment firm founded in 1989. Based in Los Angeles, the firm partners with experienced management teams to invest in market-leading companies. Since inception, LGP has invested in over 80 companies in the form of traditional buyouts, going-private transactions, recapitalizations, growth equity, and selective public equity and debt positions. The firm’s primary sectors of focus are consumer/retail, healthcare/wellness, business/consumer services, and distribution. Select past and current investments include Whole Foods Market, Life Time Fitness, Shake Shack, Activision, Jetro Cash & Carry, CHG Healthcare, and Petco. For more information, please visit www.leonardgreen.com.

Safe Harbor Statement
This release contains statements which are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements, based upon management’s beliefs and expectations as well as on assumptions made by and data currently available to management, appear in a number of places throughout this document and include statements regarding, among other things, Signet’s results of operation, financial condition, liquidity, prospects, growth, strategies and the industry in which Signet operates. The use of the words “expects,” “intends,” “anticipates,” “estimates,” “predicts,” “believes,” “should,” “potential,” “may,” “forecast,” “objective,” “plan,” or “target,” and other similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, including but not limited to general economic conditions, a decline in consumer spending, the merchandising, pricing and inventory policies followed by Signet, the reputation of Signet and its brands, the level of competition in the jewelry sector, the cost and availability of diamonds, gold and other precious metals, regulations relating to customer credit, seasonality of Signet’s business, financial market risks, deterioration in customers’ financial condition, exchange rate fluctuations, changes in Signet’s credit rating, changes in consumer attitudes regarding jewelry, management of social, ethical and environmental risks, security breaches and other disruptions to Signet’s information technology infrastructure and databases, inadequacy in and disruptions to internal controls and systems, changes in assumptions used in making accounting estimates relating to items such as extended service plans and pensions, risks related to Signet being aBermuda corporation, the impact of the acquisition of Zale Corporation on relationships, including with employees, suppliers, customers and competitors, and our ability to successfully integrate Zale Corporation’s operations and to realize synergies from the transaction.

For a discussion of these risks and other risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in any forward looking statement, see the “Risk Factors” section of Signet’s Fiscal 2016 Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the SEC on March 24, 2016. Signet undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances, except as required by law.

Contact:

Investors:
James Grant
1-330-668-5412
VP Investor Relations

Media:
David Bouffard
1-330-668-5369
VP Corporate Affairs

Source: Signet Jewelers Limited