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By Updated: May 17, 2019 10:44 AM CT | Published: May 15, 2019 5:06 PM CT
  • Commercial Appeal parent company rejects hostile takeover bid
  • Needed: Donations of feminine hygiene products 
  • Main Street Trolley line service to be affected by Convention Center renovation
  • Lake District announces Phillip Ashley Chocolates as new tenant
  • Millington airport to get $10 million for improvements
  • Destination Maternity opens co-branded store at Saddle Creek
  • Bike Share rides free this weekend

Commercial Appeal parent company rejects hostile takeover bid

Gannett Co. Inc., parent company of The Commercial Appeal and USA Today, has staved off a hostile takeover attempt by MNG Enterprises, the hedge fund-controlled newspaper company also known as Digital First Media.

Virginia-based Gannett said Thursday shareholders elected all eight of its board nominees, according to a preliminary vote count, rejecting MNG’s candidates.

MNG – which is controlled by Alden Global Capital, the hedge fund that also holds a controlling interest in Memphis-based Fred’s Inc. – made an unsolicited $1.4 billion bid to acquire Gannett in January. The deal would have added roughly 100 Gannett papers to Digital First’s stable of around 200 publications.

Days after Gannett rejected the offer, MNG attempted to take control of the board by nominating six director candidates, though it later scaled the number down to three: Alden president Heath Freeman, Steven Rossi and Dana Goldsmith Needleman – all of whom serve on Fred’s board.

Gannett released a statement Thursday saying the outcome of the vote “demonstrates that Gannett shareholders recognize the continued progress we have made toward our ongoing digital transformation and agree that our strategic plan is the best path to deliver value for all Gannett shareholders.”

Meanwhile, MNG called it “a win for an entrenched Gannett board that has been unwilling to address the current realities of the newspaper business.

“Gannett’s newspapers are critical local resources, and we hope that Gannett’s incumbent board and management shift course to embrace a modern approach to local news that will save newspapers and serve communities,” MNG’s statement continues. “That would be the best outcome. If Gannett’s board does not shift course from overpaying for non-core, aspirational and dilutive digital deals, we believe the stock will drop further.”

Gannett shares closed at $8.75 Thursday. The price has ranged between $8.37 and $11.99 in the past year.

-Kate Crawford


Needed: Donations of feminine hygiene products

A local, nonprofit organization that provides feminine hygiene products to impoverished women has organized a special week for collecting donations of supplies and monetary contributions.

Sister Supply will collect donations from May 28 to June 2, highlighted by an event Saturday, June 1, when volunteers will prepare one- and three-month supply kits called “Sister Packs.”

The organization has titled the week “We need you. Period.”

Collection points for donated products include: Crosstown Concourse West and Central Atriums, 1350 Concourse; Mid-South Food Bank, 3834 Knight Road; Bethlehem Baptist Church, 918 Looney; Memphis Child Advocacy Center, 1085 Poplar; Shady Grove Presbyterian Church, 5530 Shady Grove; ANF Architects, 1500 Union; Hope House, 23 S. Idlewild; Divine Life Church, 5270 Riverdale; and Mirror Mirror Salon & Blowout Bar, 4752 Poplar.

The “Period Pack Party” will be 2 to 4 p.m. June 1 at Shady Grove Presbyterian Church. Entertainment and refreshments will be part of the event. Volunteers are encouraged to collect and bring feminine hygiene products to the Period Pack Party.

Also, donations can be made by visiting sistersupply.org/donate.

The weeklong effort is connected to the global Menstrual Hygiene Day on May 28. The initiative mirrors the mission of Sister Supply, said Eli Cloud, one of the founders of the local organization.

“This is one of our ways of supporting this international effort to eradicate ‘Period Poverty,’” she said in a release. 

-Tom Bailey


Main Street Trolley line to be affected by Convention Center renovation

Service of the Main Street Trolley rail line will soon be affected as a result of construction on the Memphis Convention Center.

The Convention Center’s construction, scheduled to be completed by Fall 2020, will affect the trolley line from June 3-July 14 with temporary closures of four southbound stations, including the Convention Center, Civic Center, Jefferson and Court Square, according to a release.

In addition, trolley rail cars operating both north and southbound on the Downtown Main Street pedestrian mall will only pick up passengers on the east side of the tracks at the trolley stations located between Madison and Exchange avenues.

Those who need to get on or off at or near the Sheraton Hotel/Convention Center will be able do so at a temporary stop at Exchange and Main streets, located just south of the Sheraton Hotel/Convention Center.

Customers who need to travel northbound to the William Hudson Transit Center will be able to use the trolley bus shuttle to travel from Poplar and Main to the William Hudson Transit Center.

The standard one-way fare will be collected on the trolley rail, and there will be no fare collection on the trolley bus shuttle.

Trolley rail cars and bus shuttles will run approximately every 20 minutes from June 3-July 14.

-Natalie Martin 


Lake District announces Phillip Ashley Chocolates as new tenant

The Lake District announced Thursday Phillip Ashley Chocolates will be joining the growing list of tenants in phase one of the mixed-use community.

Phillip Ashley Chocolates, owned by chocolatier Philip Ashley Rix, will join restaurants Frida’s Resurante Mexicano, Osaka Japanese Cuisine, and Memphis BBQ Co. 

“I am truly honored and looking forward to being a part of The Lake District," Rix said in a release. "We are going to create a one-of-a-kind experience worthy of such an incredible development.” 

In addition to restaurants, Phillip Ashley Chocolates will also join Brickhouse Fitness, Elite Total Health, Starbucks, Malco Theatres, Gould’s Salon and Spa, Gloss Nail Bar, The Stock Market, and Hollywood Feed in The Lake District. 

-Natalie Martin


Millington airport to get $10 million for improvements

The Millington-Memphis Airport will receive $10 million in federal funds earmarked to rehabilitate runways.

The funding is part of $779 million in supplemental funding for 127 small and rural airports, according to a release Wednesday from U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Memphis, a senior member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Aviation.

“The Millington-Memphis Airport is an important regional airport and this significant supplemental funding will go a long way in making it safer, more competitive and more capable of providing emergency response while also creating good construction jobs,” Cohen said in the release. “This is a big win for Millington.”

-Daily Memphian staff


Destination Maternity opens co-branded store at Saddle Creek

Destination Maternity Corporation opened a co-branded A Pea in the Pod and Motherhood Maternity store in Saddle Creek North.

Destination Maternity's shop recently left it's location in the southwest corner of Boyle's Regalia Center next to Ruth's Chris Steak House. Its new home is about 2500 square feet.

The Germantown shops mark the 27th A Pea in the Pod store and 267th Motherhood Maternity Store in North America. 

The company prides itself on offering designer maternity clothes from sizes XS to 3X.

The store is open Monday - Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.

-Abigail Warren


Bike Share rides free this weekend

Beginning Friday morning, May 17, Explore Bike Share rides will be free for the entire weekend thanks to sponsor Semmes-Murphey.

The station sponsored by Semmes-Murphey at the Memphis entrance of Big River Crossing is the top-used station of the system’s first year. Explore Bike Share’s one-year anniversary in Memphis will be on Thursday, May 23.

A new series of stations on Mud Island’s pedestrian bridge will be installed and activated before the weekend for Bike Share riders to access Mud Island River Park, according to a release. And World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest visitors may dock their Explore Bike Share bikes at “preferred parking” stations around Tom Lee Park.

Visit explorebikeshare.com, download the BCycle app, or use a payment kiosk available across Explore Bike Share’s service area to redeem and ride.

-Daily Memphian staff

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