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Inside Retail (Apr 25th, 2018)

Gap Inc. is moving forward with its plans to add 60 more Old Navy locations in North America as it remodels others. It’s remodeling about 150 Old Navy stores this year with new fitting rooms, checkout areas and bathrooms. It’s also moving toward more open-air plaza-type locations. "If you think about it, the real estate we have exited tends to be clustered at some of the older ... malls that the customer isn't as excited about anymore," Gap CEO Art Peck told CNBC. Gap shares are up about 12 percent in the last 12 months. But in the last month, the stock fell more than 7 percent. – CNBC

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Whirlpool is going to sell its Embraco compressor business to Japan-based Nidec Corp. in a $1.1 billion cash deal that will close by next year. The company said it wants to focus on its core consumer products business. Embraco has been majority-owned by Whirlpool since 1997. “Since Embraco operates in the business-to-business space, this transaction enhances our strategic focus on investing in and growing our consumer-facing business," said Whirlpool CEO Marc Bitzer in a statement. Whirlpool also said it plans to buy back about $1 billion worth of shares in a Dutch Auction tender offer that will start April 26 with shares pricing from $150 to $170 per share. – WSJ

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Sinclair Broadcast Group plans to sell about two dozen television stations as part of its effort to acquire Tribune Media in a $3.9 billion deal. It says it has already secured deals for 23 stations in 18 markets, some owned by Sinclair and others owned by Tribune. Sinclair CEO Chris Ripley said that it "has achieved healthy multiples on the stations we are divesting." With Tribune and without the television stations it’s selling, Sinclair will own 215 television stations in 102 markets.BALTIMORE SUN

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Comcast has thrown down a $30.7 billion bid for Sky Plc. It’s a move that starts a bidding war with 21st Century Fox and Walt Disney Co., which said they are not giving up on their plans to get Sky. Fox bid $16 billion for the remaining 61 percent of the British satellite broadcaster it does not own in 2016. But Fox has since been challenged with regulatory hurdles. In response to Comcast’s bid, Sky’s board withdrew its recommendation that shareholders accept Fox’s offer. Meanwhile, Walt Disney Co. has a $52.4 billion bid for the majority of Fox on the table, so it's working with Fox on the Sky acquisition, saying it will buy the company from Fox if Fox’s bid goes through. – NYT

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Hershey wants to use its might as a dominant candy maker to get into the snack business, an $88 billion industry. So, the Pennsylvania-based company is targeting more new snack brands that don’t include chocolate. For example, it recently acquired Amplify, which owns SkinnyPop, for $1.6 billion. Hershey’s competitor like Mars and Mondelez are also diversifying toward snacks amid increasing challenges in the candy industry like rising cocoa prices. Lately, Hershey’s sales growth has been slowing and its stock is down more than 17 percent so far this year, underperforming the S&P 500. – CNBC

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