Several big mergers, acquisitions and bankruptcies will proceed through the courts this year, leaving a trail of dead or “zombie” brands behind them.
You probably know that Twinkies maker Hostess Brands has been in trouble.
But an airline, a carmaker, and two famous mobile phone brands are also undergoing existential struggles this year.
Here’s a look at some famous brand names that we might be seeing the back of.
JCPenney's brand is in grave danger under the stewardship of CEO Ron Johnson. It's not likely to literally go extinct this year -- which is why we have it at No. 10 in our ranking. But the company is running out of cash (it burned through $54 million last year and has only $121 million left) as it changes its focus from discounts to a format involving name-brand shops within the store itself. The JCPenney will never be the same again.
Revenues declined 13 per cent in 2012 to $122 million; and it lost over $18 million in cash from its balance sheet. There was only $20 million left at year end.
Hostess, which sells Twinkies, Ho Hos and Drake's cakes, famously went bankrupt in 2012 and its assets have recently been bought by Apollo Global Management and Metropoulos & Company; Drakes was acquired by McKee. The Hostess company now exists in name only.
Activist investor Bill Ackman has shorted 20 million shares of Herbalife on the bet that it's actually a pyramid scheme, not a real company. The firm thinks he's wrong, of course, but this is an existential struggle for Herbalife.
The maker of Blackberry, fighting for survival in a mobile phone market dominated by iPhone and Android, axed its 'RIM' moniker in favour of the Blackberry brand earlier this year. It's not clear that the move will be enough to save the company from extinction.
The company refinanced itself this year after this long list of troubles, as described by Bloomberg: 'Avon has embarked on a turnaround plan after suffering through declining sales, a bribery investigation and other problems. It hired new CEO Sheri McCoy last April and has begun to slash costs, hoping to save $400 million in three years, cut its dividend, laid off workers and exited some less profitable markets like Vietnam and South Korea.' It's not out of the woods yet.
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