Wickes to Sell 3 Units, Shuffles Consumer Group Management
SANTA MONICA, Calif. (AP) _ Wickes Cos. said Tuesday it has agreed to sell two store chains and an insurance concern and has shuffled the management structure of its Consumer and Industrial Products Group, acquired last year from Gulf & Western Industries for $1 billion.
Sanford C. Sigoloff, chairman and chief executive of the retailing conglomerate, said the divestitures and reorganization are part of his efforts to redirect the company.
″These actions will strengthen our operating structure and better enable concentration on the business areas we have identified for future growth,″ Sigoloff said.
The operations to be sold are Hopkins, Minn.-based Red Owl Stores Inc., Minnetonka, Minn.-based Snyder Drug Stores Inc. and Northbrook, Ill.-based Western Diversified Services.
Sigoloff said he expects the sales will bring in about $100 million but that Wickes will show no material gain or loss from the deals.
The two store chains will be sold to management-led investor groups and Western Diversified will be sold to Miami-based John Alden Life Insurance Co., a subsidiary of Great Western Financial Corp. of Los Angeles, Wickes said.
Red Owl operates 27 retail supermarkets and wholesales products to about 450 independently owned and operated grocery stores in a six-state area. The management team acquiring it is headed by Red Owl President C. Patrick Schulke.
Snyder Drug Stores operates 54 outlets of its own and is a wholesaler to 164 independent stores. Snyder’s president, Don Beeler, is heading the management group that plans to buy the company.
Western Diversified is a group of companies that market life, auto insurance and auto-warranty insurance policies.
The three deals are expected to be completed by the end of February, Wickes said.
Wickes also said James I. Spiegel is resigning as president of the Consumer and Industrial Products Group, which includes Kayser-Roth Apparel, Kayser-Roth Hosiery, Wickes Manufacturing, Simmons Bedding and Simmons Universal.
Those operations, which previously reported to Spiegel, will become directly answerable to Sigoloff, the company said.
Wickes spokesman Michael Sitrick said Sigoloff likes to keep more direct control over operations. Spiegel was in meetings and couldn’t be reached for comment, his secretary said in New York.