NIKE, Inc. announces sale of Hurley to Bluestar Alliance

NIKE, Inc. announced today it has reached a definitive agreement to sell the Hurley brand to Bluestar Alliance LLC. Terms of the transaction are not being disclosed and it is expected to be complete in December.

“We appreciate how Bob and the Hurley team have built Hurley into the world’s most innovative surf brand,” said Michael Spillane, President of Categories and Product, NIKE, Inc. “As we drive increasingly more targeted investment and focused growth through Nike’s Consumer Direct Offense, this change in ownership will allow sharper focus and intentional investment in Hurley’s growth potential.”

“We have always admired the Hurley brand as it has maintained its leadership role and premium positioning in the surf world,” stated Joey Gabbay, CEO of Bluestar Alliance. “This is a transformative acquisition for Bluestar as Hurley’s international footprint will enhance Bluestar’s reach around the world. We look forward to building upon the existing Hurley network and expanding to additional countries with the deep relationships that already exist within the Bluestar portfolio of brands. We see Hurley continuing to evolve into a 360-degree lifestyle brand, with action sports playing a key role.”

About NIKE, Inc.

NIKE, Inc., based near Beaverton, Oregon, is the world’s leading designer, marketer and distributor of authentic athletic footwear, apparel, equipment and accessories for a wide variety of sports and fitness activities. Wholly-owned NIKE, Inc. subsidiary brands include Converse, which designs, markets and distributes athletic lifestyle footwear, apparel and accessories; and Hurley, which designs, markets and distributes surf and youth lifestyle footwear, apparel and accessories.

If you would like to find out more information, please visit: https://investors.nike.com/

Capsticks celebrate 40 years in business

Capsticks is delighted to announce that we have promoted two more lawyers, Tracy Giles and Gerard Aston, into the partnership as we continue to celebrate our 40th year in business. The new Partners represent two of the firm’s key practice areas, Contract & Commercial and Clinical Law.

Tracy joined the firm in 2009 as a solicitor and works with a range of the firm’s biggest clients across our core health business and private sector as well as within some of the emerging sectors such as emergency services. She provides complex procurement advice ranging from assisting with competitive dialogue processes and the establishment of frameworks to general advisory work.

Gerard, a clinical negligence specialist, joined the firm in 2011. His practice includes dealing with a range of high value and complex claims involving the most severe neurological injuries, he is also experienced in all forms of ADR including mediation and assists with the running of the Capsticks’ Claims Handling Service.

Senior Partner, Rachael Heenan, commented, “Both our new Partners live up to Capsticks’ ethos of being one step ahead and we are delighted to have such talent joining the partnership. It’s been wonderful to see them all develop over the past few years and I and the rest of the partners are delighted to see them moving into the next stage of their career with the firm.”

If you would like to find out more information, please visit: https://www.capsticks.com/

How to write a press release for your small business

The press release has been a mainstay of public relations since its inception decades ago.

And while it may seem a bit old-school to some, there’s a reason press releases have stood the test of time — they’re effective and produce results.

From generating media coverage to positioning yourself as a thought leaders in your industry, and ultimately help your business succeed and grow — there are a number of reasons why business owners need to learn how to write and distribute a press release.

Today, I’ll focus on part one of that process: how to write a press release.

If you’re trying to decide whether or not something warrants a press release, all you need to do is answer one question: Is it newsworthy?

For something to be newsworthy, it must be something that audiences outside of your internal organisation will care about; something that has significance to a reporter and their readers, viewers, or listeners, or to other external stakeholders (potential investors, etc).

Here are a few factors to consider when determining if something is newsworthy:

Impact: Who will this information affect? The broader and larger the impact, the more people will be interested.

Timeliness: Why does this information matter now? Does your news relate to or tie back to a significant “moment in time” or event of some sort?

Proximity: As a small business, this one should be easy to understand — proximity matters. For many small businesses or nonprofits, your news will likely matter more to local publications than to national ones, or publications that focus on other regions.

Name recognition: Clout that comes with big recognisable names (well know people, organisations, companies, etc) will likely increase the interest in your news. If you’re partnering with, or involved with a big name that might generate this type of attention, consider issuing a press release.

Now that you know when to write a press release, let’s take a look at how you actually do it.

Here, I’ve outline the four major components of an effective press release:

1. The headline

The headline should be attention grabbing and encourage the reader to want to know more, while also being explanatory. This isn’t the time to use vague language.

Formatting tip: Make sure the headline is written in bold and the subhead is italicised.

2. The body

The body of your press release should stay as concise as possible, while making sure to get all of the important information across in an engaging manner. Reporters that read your release aren’t likely going to have the time to read page after page trying to understand the news.

There aren’t really a prescriptive number of pages or word count. It can vary depending upon the information the release is covering. The key is to keep it concise and not overly verbose, but at the same time make sure that you have all the relevant info included. So, the length can really vary depending upon the announcement.

Here are other things to keep in mind when pulling together the body of any press release:

The dateline: Begin with a dateline of the city in which the press release originated and the date it was issued. This is especially important for small businesses that are distributing their press release to the local media.

Keep it factual: Your press release should focus on answering the five W’s: who, what, when, where, and why.

Factual doesn’t have to mean dry: While your press release should be as concise as possible and stick to the facts, it doesn’t have to be as dry as say, a research paper. Keep the language engaging.

Avoid lazy mistakes: Typos and poor grammar in press releases make your business look unprofessional, and will likely turn off reporters.

The quote: Most press release include a quote by the most relevant spokesperson for the topic of the release. The quote provides space to add some color commentary (going a bit beyond the factual basis of the rest of the release) and can also be pulled directly from the release by journalists to use in articles.

3. The boilerplate

This is the about us section where you provide background on your organisation. It should be included following the body of every press release. The language used here can be the same in every release. Don’t forget to link to your company homepage to drive readers back and provide more information.

4. Contact Info

A reporter reads your press release and is interested in getting more information — great! But how will they know where to go?

Be sure to include relevant contact info for any inquiries that may arise from your press release.

This information should be listed at the very end of the release.

It doesn’t begin and end with creating the press release.

Keep in mind that while a well crafted press release is the foundation of a great public relations campaign, your efforts should not begin and end with the creation of the release.

Press releases work when you get their information in the right hands (reporters, other stakeholders) that will further extend the reach of your news, ultimately resulting in measurable business success.

Stay tuned for part two, where I’ll explain how to distribute and get results from your press release.

Scottish aviation company names Giles Wilson as new CEO

Aviation services business John Menzies – one of Scotland’s oldest and largest companies – has announced the appointment of Giles Wilson as chief executive with immediate effect.

He was named chief financial officer of the group in June 2016 and was made interim chief executive on 12 March this year on the departure of Forsyth Black.

Wilson joined the group in 2011, and has held senior roles including finance director of Menzies Aviation and senior vice president of African, Middle East and Indian Operations.

Menzies, which dates back to 1833 when it opened a bookshop on Edinburgh’s Princes Street, selling The Scotsman, said Wilson “brings great financial acumen and a deep knowledge of the aviation services market to this role”.

Chairman Dermot Smurfit said: “Giles provides excellent continuity whilst bringing great energy and enthusiasm to the role. He has strong relationships with our shareholding base, a sound understanding of our business, and is already tackling the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

“The board are confident that Giles will provide strong leadership as we continue our drive to sustainably grow our business in the aviation services market.”

Wilson said his appointment comes at a “very exciting” time for Menzies. “We have a strong team in place and I look forward to working with them as we drive further efficiencies from the business, pursue sustainable organic growth, deliver excellent service to our customers and increase shareholder value.”

Black had been ratified as chief executive in September, returning Menzies to what it described at the time as a “more standard executive structure”.

Britain’s 2nd biggest steel maker enters insolvency

British Steel, the country’s second largest steel producer has entered into compulsory liquidation, said British government’s Insolvency Service in a press release on Wednesday.

It said that the High Court ordered British Steel into compulsory liquidation the same day, and the Official Receiver was appointed as liquidator.

“The immediate priority following my appointment as liquidator of British Steel is to continue safe operation of the site,” said the Official Receiver in a statement.

EY has been appointed as special manager by the Official Receiver.

“The company in liquidation is continuing to trade and supply its customers while I consider options for the business,” the Official Receiver said, “Staff have been paid and will continue to be employed.”

The company had reportedly been seeking emergency funds of 30 million pounds (about 38 million U.S. dollars) from the government, blaming “Brexit-related issues” for its difficulties.

The company’s collapse would put its 5,000 employees directly and 20,000 more in the supply chain at risk, local media reported.

Business Secretary Greg Clark called it a “deeply worrying time” for employees and local communities in a statement on British Steel Wednesday.

However, he noted, “The government can only act within the law, which requires any financial support to a steel company to be on a commercial basis. I have been advised that it would be unlawful to provide a guarantee or loan on the terms of any proposals that the company or any other party has made.”

“In the days and weeks ahead, I will be working with the Official Receiver and a British Steel support group of management, trade unions, companies in the supply chain and local communities, to pursue remorselessly every possible step to secure the future of the valuable operations in sites at Scunthorpe, Skinningrove and on Teesside,” he added.

The government admitted that it has already provided the company with a 120 million pounds (152 million dollars) bridging facility to enable it to meet its emissions trading compliance costs.

In 2016, Private equity group Greybull Capital purchased the company from Tata Steel for a nominal 1 pound (1.27 dollars) during the depths of the steel crisis.

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Purplebricks CEO departs, as firm scales back global expansion

Purplebricks founder and chief executive Michael Bruce has left the online estate agent as the firm announced it will exit Australia and place its US operations under review.

Mr Bruce will step down from Purplebricks with immediate effect, just months after shares in the firm tumbled when it cut annual revenue guidance and announced the departure of the bosses of its UK and US units.

Replacing him will be Vic Darvey, previously the company’s chief operating officer.

Chairman Paul Pindar thanked Mr Bruce for his contribution to the creation and development of Purplebricks, but added that the firm had got things drastically wrong over the past year.

“We are very conscious that the group’s performance has been disappointing over the last 12 months and we sincerely apologise to shareholders for that.

“With hindsight, our rate of geographic expansion was too rapid and as a result the quality of execution has suffered.

“We have also made sub-optimal decisions in allocating capital. We will learn from these errors and will not make them again.”

Purplebricks bemoaned “increasingly challenging” conditions in Australia and confessed to “execution errors”, adding that returns from the nation are “not sufficient to justify continued investment”.

It will now commence an “orderly run down” with immediate effect, pending closure.

In the US, Purplebricks has put its operations under review.

The firm said: “Whilst good progress has been made in launching our brand across the US, the board has materially cut investment in marketing and other overheads to reduce expenditure to sustainable levels and begun a strategic review.”

In February, Purplebricks warned over headwinds in the Australian housing market when it admitted that it does not expect to meet revenue forecasts for the year.

In the US, the company cautioned that there has been a “slower-than-expected response” to its marketing initiative and it also does not expect US revenue to meet expectations.

To compound matters, last month analysts downgraded the online estate agent and said it would have to raise fresh cash.

Berenberg warned in a research note that the group should either give up on its international expansion plans or raise more funding as it slashed its rating from buy to sell.

It cited a slowdown in Purplebricks’ core UK market, as well as tough conditions in Australia and the US.

Purplebricks confirmed that it expects revenue to be within the £130 million to £140 million range it guided for in February and cash balances will be no lower than £62 million.