Surfwear retailer Billabong has appointed former fashion exec Ian Pollard as chair elect to "guide a turnaround," according to Colin Kruger of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. Billabong, however, may still "find itself short of board members" following its shareholder meeting this month, with investor advocates "recommending that at least two directors be dumped." The Australian Shareholders Association has recommended that Billabong Founder Gordon Merchant and Non-Exec Dir Colette Paul be "dumped for their role in rejecting a $3.30-a-share offer" from private equity group TPG. The ASA said in a report on its website: "Not to sell or refusal to negotiate cost both him and all shareholders very dearly. In his position as a Director, he should have known the perilous financial position the company was in and acted accordingly. His failure to do so no longer gives him the right to continue as a Director" (SMH, 10/9).
J Sainsbury has lifted its market share on the back of its high-profile sponsorship of the London '12 Games, according to REUTERS. Market researcher Kantar Worldpanel said that sales at Britain's third-largest grocer rose 5.6% in the 12 weeks to Sept. 30, increasing its share to 16.5% from 16.2% a year ago, as the group benefited from its advertising tied to the Paralympics. Kantar Dir Edward Garner said, "Among the big four supermarkets, the standout performance is from Sainsbury's. Its sponsorship of the Paralympic Games has clearly borne fruit." The findings will "not come as a surprise" as last week Sainsbury's beat forecasts for second-quarter underlying sales growth (REUTERS, 10/9).
Newspaper Il Sole 24 reported AS Roma President James Pallotta said that the Italian club plans to "delist its shares that are publicly traded." Pallotta, also the managing director at Boston-based Raptor Capital Management LP, bought control of the team with a group of U.S. investors last year. He said that sports teams are long-term investments that "aren’t suited to the stock market" (BLOOMBERG, 10/9). ... The city of Jinjiang in China's Fujian province "is home to the most sportswear brands in the country." In '11, Jinjiang boasted GDP of 100B yuan, which is one-nineteenth of the province's 1.9T yuan GDP. There are six listed sportswear firms in Jinjiang. Anta Sports Products Ltd., "one of the leaders" in the city, raked in 1.73B yuan in net profits on 8.9B yuan of sales in '11 (WANTCHINATIMES.com, 10/9).