NASDAQ "halted trading of shares" of The North Face on
Thursday as "shareholder lawsuits mounted against" the CO
sporting goods company, according to Dina Bunn of the ROCKY
MOUNTAIN NEWS. Groups of shareholders filed "five separate
class-action suits against" The North Face following the
company's announcement that it is "auditing its accounting
procedure and expects to restate its financial reports" for
'97 and '98. The complaints allege The North Face
executives reported "false financial results and exaggerated
sales increases, which led to inflated stock prices."
Shares of The North Face are down 52% from a high of $27 on
March 11 of last year. The stock closed at $13 on Thursday
when trading stopped (ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, 3/12).
IN FOCUS: The North Face is the subject of the WALL
STREET JOURNAL's "Corporate Focus" and Coleman & Berner
write, "Just because urban kids are falling in love with a
brand of apparel doesn't mean investors should" (WSJ, 3/12).
Ogden Corp. "intends to break its three business lines
into two publicly traded companies in an effort to prop up
its lagging share price," according to Allanna Sullivan of
the WALL STREET JOURNAL. The company "said it will put its
entertainment and aviation businesses into one company and
its energy operations into another company in a deal that
Ogden executives hope will be done on a tax-free basis."
Ogden will first sell "as much" as 20% of the "newly created
entertainment and aviation company" in an IPO this fall and
then "spin off the remainder to shareholders by year end."
Ogden Chair R. Richard Ablon will run the entertainment and
aviation division (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 3/12).