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Former Kmart chief agrees to settle charges

BY Jim Frederick

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. — Former Kmart CEO Charles Conaway has agreed to drop his appeal of a $10 million fine levied last year by the Securities and Exchange Commission for his role in misleading investors. Conaway, who ran Kmart a decade ago after serving as president of CVS, will pay $5.5 million to settle the charges, according to reports from the Associated Press and other news sources.

The case stemmed from SEC charges dating back to November 2001, after Conaway hosted a conference call with Wall Street analysts as Kmart was beset by escalating problems with its business, a mounting cash crunch as its suppliers demanded payment for goods already shipped to the stores and a growing fiscal crisis. Conaway, the SEC charged, failed to warn analysts and investors of the company’s deteriorating condition, which culminated with Kmart’s bankruptcy filing in 2002 and its eventual reorganization and purchase by Sears Holdings.

In his defense, Conaway told the court he never intentionally misled investors about the company’s fiscal health.

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First season of ‘Hot in Cleveland’ arrives on DVD

BY Allison Cerra

LOS ANGELES The first season of TV Land’s "hot" sitcom, starring Betty White, will be available as a two-disc DVD set on Jan. 11.

"Hot in Cleveland," starring TV veterans Valerie Bertinelli (“One Day at a Time”), Jane Leeves (“Frasier”), Wendie Malick (“Just Shoot Me”) and Betty White (“The Golden Girls”), is making its way to DVD. The two-disc set features the 10-episode season and such bonus material as the original full-length pilot, bloopers, featurettes, a set tour and more. The “Hot In Cleveland” season one DVD will be available for the suggested retail price of $26.99.

Season two of the show will premiere Jan. 19 at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT on TV Land.

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Forging ahead with turnaround plan, A&P enters sale-leaseback deal

BY Antoinette Alexander

MONTVALE, N.J. Grocer A&P, which is in the midst of a turnaround, has entered into an agreement with Winstanley Enterprises and certain affiliated entities to sell six of its retail locations for $89.8 million, exclusive of closing costs, in a sale-leaseback deal.

Winstanley agreed to purchase 100% of the company’s interest in six Pathmark retail properties located in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware. The properties are 95% occupied and leased to A&P.

"This agreement is another step forward in our comprehensive turnaround strategy. We continue to analyze areas across the business to identify ways such as these to further strengthen our financial foundation and improve our performance," stated Sam Martin, president and CEO of A&P.

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