Alaska Communications Announces Entry into Amended and Restated Merger Agreement with Macquarie Capital and GCM Grosvenor to Increase Consideration to $3.20 per Share

Alaska Communications Announces Entry into Amended and Restated Merger Agreement with Macquarie Capital and GCM Grosvenor to Increase Consideration to $3.20 per Share

–        Total Enterprise value of approximately $320 million including net debt

–        Amended Merger Agreement unanimously approved by Board of Directors

Alaska Communications Systems Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: ALSK) (“Alaska Communications” or the “Company”), together with Macquarie Capital (“Macquarie Capital”) and GCM Grosvenor (NASDAQ: GCMG), through its Labor Impact Fund, L.P. (“GCM”), today announced that they have agreed to an amendment and restatement of their previously announced definitive agreement and plan of merger to increase the per-share consideration payable to Alaska Communications’ stockholders to $3.20 per share in cash from $3.00 per share in cash (as amended and restated, the “Amended Merger Agreement”). The transaction is now valued at approximately $320 million, including debt.

The revised per-share consideration represents a premium of approximately 68% over Alaska Communications’ closing per share price of $1.91 on November 2, 2020, the last trading day prior to the date the original merger agreement was executed, and a premium of approximately 61% over the 30-day volume-weighted average price as of November 2, 2020.

The voting agreement pursuant to which TAR Holdings, LLC, a stockholder of the Company, has agreed, among other things, to vote its shares of Alaska Communications common stock in favor of the merger, remains in effect with respect to the Amended Merger Agreement. The increased offer from Macquarie Capital and GCM and the amendment to the merger agreement followed Alaska Communications’ receipt of a “Superior Proposal” (as defined in the original merger agreement) from an unaffiliated third party during the “go-shop” period provided for under the original merger agreement.

The transaction is subject to the approval of Alaska Communications’ stockholders, regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. The increase in the consideration paid to Alaska Communication’s shareholders will be funded by an increase in the fully committed equity financing and is not subject to any condition with regard to financing. Equity financing will be provided by Macquarie Capital and GCM.

Alaska Communications’ Board of Directors determined that the revised transaction with Macquarie and GCM is in the best interests of Alaska Communications and its stockholders, and has unanimously approved the Amended Merger Agreement with Macquarie Capital and GCM and recommends that Alaska Communications’ stockholders approve the proposed merger and Amended Merger Agreement. Alaska Communications expects to hold a Special Meeting of Stockholders to consider and vote on the proposed merger and Amended Merger Agreement as soon as practicable after the mailing of the proxy statement to its stockholders.


Macquarie Capital is serving as financial advisor to Macquarie Capital and GCM in connection with the transaction.

B. Riley Securities, Inc. is serving as financial advisor and Sidley Austin LLP is serving as legal advisor to Alaska Communications in connection with the transaction.

Goodwin Procter LLP and Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP are serving as legal advisors to Macquarie Capital and GCM in connection with the transaction.

About Macquarie Capital

Macquarie Capital is the corporate advisory, capital markets and principal investment arm of Macquarie Group (ASX: MQG), offering a full spectrum of capital solutions, including capital raising services from equity, debt and private capital markets and principal investments from Macquarie’s own balance sheet. These offerings are reinforced through Macquarie Capital’s deep sector expertise in: business services, consumer, gaming and leisure, financial institutions, green energy, healthcare, industrials, infrastructure and energy, real estate, resources, technology and telecommunications and media sectors with 376 transactions completed, valued at $212 billion in the year ended March 31, 2020.

About GCM Grosvenor

GCM Grosvenor (NASDAQ: GCMG) is a global alternatives investment firm with approximately $59 billion in assets under management in private equity, infrastructure, real estate, credit, absolute return strategies, and multi-asset class opportunistic investments. The firm has specialized in alternatives since 1971, and today its team of approximately 500 professionals serves a global client base of institutional and high net worth investors. GCM Grosvenor is headquartered in Chicago, with offices in New York, Los Angeles, London, Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Seoul.

GCM Grosvenor’s Labor Impact Fund, L.P., seeks to originate and execute infrastructure projects that leverage the inclusion of union labor as a contributing factor to enabling attractive risk-adjusted returns. The goal of the strategy is to find attractive infrastructure investment opportunities that can be unlocked through close cooperation across labor, government, and private capital.

About Alaska Communications

Alaska Communications (NASDAQ: ALSK) is the leading provider of advanced broadband and managed IT services for businesses and consumers in Alaska. The Company operates a highly reliable, advanced statewide data network with the latest technology and the most diverse undersea fiber optic system connecting Alaska to the contiguous U.S. For more information, visit or

Additional Information and Where to Find It

This communication may be deemed to be solicitation material in connection with the proposed acquisition of the Company by Macquarie Capital and GCM Grosvenor, whereby the Company will become a wholly owned subsidiary of an affiliate of Macquarie Capital and GCM Grosvenor (the “proposed merger”), pursuant to a definitive Amended and Restated Agreement and Plan of Merger (the “Amended Merger Agreement”) by and among the Company, Juneau Parent Co, Inc. (“Parent”) and Juneau Merger Co, Inc. (“Merger Sub”). The proposed merger will be submitted to the Company’s stockholders for their consideration at a special meeting of the stockholders. In connection therewith, the Company intends to file relevant materials with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), including a proxy statement on Schedule 14A, which will be mailed or otherwise disseminated to the Company’s stockholders. STOCKHOLDERS ARE URGED TO READ THE DEFINITIVE PROXY STATEMENT AS WELL AS ANY AMENDMENTS OR SUPPLEMENTS AND ANY OTHER RELEVANT DOCUMENTS FILED OR TO BE FILED WITH THE SEC CAREFULLY AND IN THEIR ENTIRETY WHEN THEY BECOME AVAILABLE BECAUSE THEY WILL CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT THE COMPANY AND THE PROPOSED MERGER. Stockholders may obtain free copies of the definitive proxy statement, any amendments or supplements thereto and other documents containing important information about the Company or the proposed merger, once such documents are filed with the SEC, free of charge at the SEC’s website at, or from Alaska Communications at or by directing a request to the Company’s Investor Relations Department at [email protected].

Participants in the Solicitation

The Company and certain of its directors and executive officers and other members of management and employees may be deemed to be “participants” in the solicitation of proxies from the Company’s stockholders in connection with the proposed merger. Information about the Company’s directors and executive officers and their direct or indirect interests, by security holdings or otherwise, is set forth in the Company’s proxy statement on Schedule 14A for its 2020 annual meeting of stockholders filed with the SEC on April 29, 2020. To the extent holdings of the Company’s securities by such participants (or the identity of such participants) have changed, such information has been or will be reflected on Statements of Change in Ownership on Forms 3 and 4 subsequently filed with the SEC. Additional information regarding the participants in the proxy solicitation and a description of their direct or indirect interests, by security holdings or otherwise, will be included in the definitive proxy statement and may be included in relevant documents filed with the SEC regarding the proposed merger, if and when they become available. Free copies of these materials may be obtained as described in the preceding paragraph.

Alaska CommunicationsForward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. The reader is cautioned not to rely on these forward-looking statements. These statements are based on current expectations of future events and these include statements using the words such as will and expected, and similar statements. If underlying assumptions prove inaccurate or known or unknown risks or uncertainties materialize, actual results could vary materially from the expectations of the Company. Risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to: (i) the risk that the transaction may not be completed in a timely manner or at all, which may adversely affect the Company’s business and the price of its common stock, (ii) the failure to satisfy the conditions to the consummation of the transaction, including the adoption of the Amended Merger Agreement by the stockholders of the Company, and the receipt of certain governmental and regulatory approvals, (iii) the failure of Parent and Merger Sub to obtain the necessary financing pursuant to the arrangements set forth in the commitment letters delivered pursuant to the Amended Merger Agreement or otherwise, (iv) the occurrence of any event, change or other circumstance that could give rise to the termination of the Amended Merger Agreement, (v) the effect of the announcement or pendency of the transaction on the Company’s business relationships, operating results, and business generally, (vi) risks that the proposed transaction disrupts the Company’s current plans and operations and potential difficulties in the Company’s employee retention as a result of the transaction, (vii) the outcome of any legal proceedings that may be instituted against the Company or Parent or Merger Sub related to the Amended Merger Agreement or the transaction contemplated thereby. The foregoing list of factors is not exhaustive. You should carefully consider the foregoing factors and the other risks and uncertainties that affect the businesses of the Company described in the “Risk Factors” section of the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2019, filed with the SEC on March 16, 2020 and other reports and documents filed from time to time with the SEC. These filings identify and address other important risks and uncertainties that could cause actual events and results to differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statements. Copies of these filings are available online at Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made. Readers are cautioned not to put undue reliance on forward-looking statements, and the Company assumes no obligation and does not intend to update or revise these forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise. The Company does not give any assurance that it will achieve its expectations.

Alaska Communications Media Contact

Heather Cavanaugh, 907-564-7722

Director, External Affairs and Corporate Communications

Alaska Communications Investor Contact

Tiffany Smith, 907-564-7556

Manager, Board and Investor Relations

[email protected]

KEYWORDS: Alaska United States North America

INDUSTRY KEYWORDS: Technology Networks Internet Telecommunications



NexPlayer Becomes a Unity Verified Solutions Partner to Enable Premium Video Streaming

NexPlayer Becomes a Unity Verified Solutions Partner to Enable Premium Video Streaming

NexPlayer, the leading player SDK for premium video apps, now supports Unity games, becoming a Unity Verified Solutions Partner.

NexPlayer for Unity offers many functionalities such as high-quality HLS and DASH streaming across all Android and iOS devices, subtitles, ad insertion, and content protection using Widevine Digital Rights Management (DRM).

Unity game developers can now easily update and deliver video content to players by simply changing the source URL. NexPlayer enables advanced video ads and the distribution of video content inside games, allowing for the creation of new, innovative revenue streams that publishers can integrate into their games. NexPlayer for Unity supports Windows, Mac, Android, as well as iOS and will be available on WebGL in Q1 2021.

Carlos Lucas, CEO of NexStreaming said: “From the beginning, NexPlayer has been a multiscreen player, supporting platforms like Android, iOS, Tizen, WebOS, Xbox, PlayStation, and HTML5. Becoming a Unity Verified Solutions Partner allows us to be integrated into the most popular gaming apps. We are very excited to support the Unity community.”

See more technical details on the Nexplayer GitHub:

About NexPlayer

NexPlayer is the leading multiscreen player SDK for premium video services, integrated inside the apps of ATT, Sky, Turner, BT or TVB. It is fully customizable and available for Sony PlayStation, Microsoft Xbox, Samsung Tizen, LG WebOS Smart TVs, Android & iOS apps as well as HTML5 browsers. For more information:

About the Unity Verified Solution Partner Program

Being a Verified Solutions Partner means NexPlayer has been verified by Unity to ensure its SDK is optimized for the latest version of the Unity editor, providing a seamless experience for Unity developers. For more information:

Allie Williams

[email protected]

KEYWORDS: Europe Spain South Korea Asia Pacific

INDUSTRY KEYWORDS: Entertainment Consumer Electronics Other Entertainment Technology Other Technology Audio/Video Mobile/Wireless



Automotive News Recognizes Lithia Motors Dealers for Excellence

Automotive News Recognizes Lithia Motors Dealers for Excellence

Annual List of Best Dealerships to Work for Honors 10 Lithia Dealerships across the U.S.

Lithia Motors & Driveway (NYSE: LAD) is proud to announce that ten of its stores have been recognized as the ‘Best Dealerships to Work For in 2020’ by Automotive News. The annual list is a survey and recognition program dedicated to finding and recognizing the best employers in the United States retail automobile industry.

Of the 100 dealerships recognized, DCH Millburn Audi, in Maplewood, NJ topped the list at #1! A first for the dealership and its 9th consecutive nomination. “Our business is built on relationships,” said Al Khouri, general manager of DCH Millburn Audi. “We’ve been successful at building an internal culture of open communication and mutual respect. I’m confident this culture has been significant in retaining talent and loyal clients. Our high performing teams work together to make our customers feel welcome and build memorable experiences.”

For the ninth year, Automotive News has partnered with Best Companies Group to identify dealerships that have excelled in creating quality workplaces. The Best Dealerships to Work For program measures workplace satisfaction. Winning dealerships are selected and ranked based through confidential employer and employee surveys and information from management.

Lithia Motors and Driveway, deeply rooted in operational excellence in both employee and customer satisfaction, has the broadest coast-to-coast automotive retail network in the nation, reaching over 92% of the United States. The company is proud to announce that seven of its stores are repeat winners for the ninth annual accolade with three new Lithia owned stores joining the list for the first time in 2020.

Lithia’s 10 stores named “100 Best Dealerships to Work For” are:

DCH Millburn Audi in Maplewood, NJ

Named #1 Dealership to Work for 2020.

Also Named to list every year since 2012 – 9th consecutive recognition

DCH Kay Honda in Eatontown, NJ

Ranked #4 and named to list in 2018, 2019

DCH Academy Honda in Old Bridge, NJ

Ranked #6 and named to list in 2019

Lithia Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram of Great Falls in Great Falls, Montana

Ranked #11 and first time listing in 2020

DCH Montclair Acura in Verona, NJ

Ranked #13 and named to list in 2016, 2017,2018, 2019

Lithia Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram of Corpus Christi, Texas

Ranked #18 and named to list in 2019

Medford BMW in Medford, Oregon

Ranked #40 and first time listing in 2020

DCH Audi Oxnard in Oxnard, California

Ranked #56 and named to list in 2017,2018, 2019

Honolulu Ford in Honolulu, Hawaii

Ranked #75 and first time listing in 2020

DCH Honda of Temecula in Temecula, California

Ranked #79 and named to list every year since 2013 – 8th time

“Congratulations to all of our stores recognized by Automotive News’ Best Dealerships to Work for List, said Bryan DeBoer, Lithia Motors President and CEO. “This recognition for workplace satisfaction embodies our mission of Growth powered by people. We believe happy team members lead to loyal customers. These ten dealerships exemplify Lithia’s strong culture that drives performance and ignites a passion for delivering exceptional customer experiences.”

Automotive News has profiled each Lithia dealer on their website. The entire list of winners is available at

About Lithia Motors:

Lithia Motors, Inc. is a growth company powered by people and innovation with a 5-year plan to profitably consolidate the largest retail sector in the country. They are a leading provider of personal transportation solutions in the United States and are among the fastest-growing companies in the Fortune 500 (#6 on 10-Year EPS Growth, #4 10-Year TSR in 2020). By providing a wide array of products throughout the entire lifecycle of the consumer’s vehicle ownership experience, they build magnetic brand loyalty. Operational excellence is achieved by focusing the business on convenient and transparent consumer experiences supported by proprietary data science to increase market share, consumer loyalty and team performance. Lithia’s omni-channel strategy will continue to pragmatically disrupt the industry by leveraging experienced teams, vast owned inventories, technology, and physical network. By purchasing strong businesses, they further strengthen this network, leveraging their national digital home channel Driveway and building upon their massive regenerating capital engine. Together, these endeavors create a unique and compelling high-growth strategy that provides transportation solutions wherever, whenever, and however consumers desire.


Lithia Motors on Facebook

Lithia Motors on Twitter

Susan Donahue

Skyya PR

[email protected]

(646) 454-9378

KEYWORDS: Oregon United States North America

INDUSTRY KEYWORDS: Construction & Property Human Resources Automotive General Automotive Other Retail Professional Services Retail Other Construction & Property Fleet Management



CLA Launches Professional Service Organizations Industry Group

CLA offers seamless integrated capabilities to help professional service organizations create and identify new opportunities.

Indianapolis, Dec. 10, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — CLA has launched new service offerings designed to assist professional service organizations (PSOs) with seamless integrated capabilities. This PSO group will include a mix of industry segments, including law firms, architects/engineers, real estate brokers, insurance agents, staffing companies, marketing agencies, and more. The goal of this new PSO group is to help support business owners and leaders so that those owners and leaders can focus on organizational growth and elevation.

“Our industry team has been developed to meet the specific complexities professional service organizations face,” said Randie Dial, managing principal, professional service organizations industry. “As a professional service organization itself, CLA is well-positioned to bring focused strategy and experience for these entities and their professionals.”

With this deep industry strategy and experience, CLA’s goal is to help professional service organizations thrive. This group will present new opportunities for professional service organizations to help shift processes and efficiencies.

To learn more, watch CLA: Professional Services Organization video or, contact Randie Dial.

About CLA

CLA exists to create opportunities for our clients, our people, and our communities through industry-focused wealth advisory, outsourcing, audit, tax, and consulting services. With more than 6,200 people, 120 U.S. locations and a global affiliation, we promise to know you and help you. For more information, visit Investment advisory services are offered through CliftonLarsonAllen Wealth Advisors, LLC, an SEC-registered investment advisor.


Jackie Kruger
CLA (CliftonLarsonAllen LLP)
[email protected]

GBT Tokenize – qTerm’s Prototype Completed

Enters Testing and Debugging Phase

SAN DIEGO, Dec. 10, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — GBT Technologies Inc. (OTC PINK: GTCH) (“GBT”, or the “Company”), announced that its joint Venture GBT Tokenize Corp (“GBT/Tokenize”) has completed its qTerm device prototype and is now in the testing and debugging phase. The testing and debugging phase is targeted to check the device’s overall functionality and its sub-systems including BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy), IR heat sensors, oximeter sensors, power management and others. The initial testing provided satisfactory results and all electronic circuitries are fully functional.

Further testing of the complete system will be conducted during the upcoming weeks in order to finalize the device’s functionality. Another aspect is the device’s mechanical enclosure, components and sensors placement. The device is assembled based on the most up-to-date SMT (Surface Mount Technology). SMT is a method in which the electronic components (microchips, resistors, capacitors) are mounted directly onto the surface of a printed circuit board (PCB). SMT is an efficient method to create small electronic devices and to increase manufacturing automation which reduces cost and improves quality. It also allows for more electronic components to fit on a given area. qTerm prototype includes a PCB with IR and optical sensors, LEDs for visual feedback, battery and its enclosure. The device firmware, which is a permanent software code that is programmed into an internal read-only memory, provides the machine-level control for a device’s specific hardware. qTerm’s embedded firmware provides a robust operating environment, performing functions control, monitoring and data manipulation operations. The device will be providing a visual feedback about the results, using colored LEDs and a mobile application information and alerts. A custom mobile application is working with the device to read the data, process it, and provide the results to the user. In addition, the mobile application is an interface to send data to a backend program that is running on a server. The data is planned to be further analyzed by AI algorithms to enable health monitoring, on-going health information and alerts. The mobile app is planned to use location information to provide proximity alerts in order to slow the pandemic spread. The proximity alerts will be based on voluntary, anonymous, private user’s participation.

“Our qTerm vitals device prototype has been completed and now under intensive testing and debugging. We are excited to see its features coming alive,” stated Danny Rittman, GBT’s CTO. “As with typical developments of this nature we encountered minor mechanical alignment issues due to the PCB fabrication. These were addressed in order to create an optimal mechanical support for the sensory systems. The really exciting news is that the electronics are 100% working according to the design. We are now testing each individual function of the device; among them are the Low Energy Bluetooth communication, the infrared heat sensors, the oximeter, which is the blood oxygen optical sensors, power consumption and others. We are also testing system level functions and features. We are focusing on evaluating each electrical and mechanical aspect, like sensor distances, accuracy, ease of use, and battery life. The PCB has been manufactured using SMT which enables smart, robust electronics within small areas. We embed the device’s firmware and are now going through a sequence of functionalities testing and debugging. The firmware is a machine level program that is controlling qTerm’s operations. The firmware is in charge of executing system level and active features. For example, measuring the ambient temperature as a reference is a system level function to be used for the purpose of proving an accurate active function of body heat measurement. In parallel we are testing the device connection with its mobile application via Bluetooth. The mobile application will provide numerical and statistics information based on the device’s electronic results. The app is designed to send the data to a machine learning based backend program for further analysis. qTerm mobile app enables a voluntary, anonymous, proximity alert notification in order to help users and the community fight the pandemic spread. The app is designed to detect and alert in case another person, with the same app, and with elevated body temperature, is in proximity of 6 feet. The app will exchange a secure code with the other phone to record that they were near. Our AI technology will analyze the measurements results in order to identify potential health issues. In case of potential health issue detection, the system will alert the users in order to reduce the potential exposure risk to their families, friends, neighbors, co-workers and others. We put extra attention to the user’s privacy and data protection. We are making all of our efforts to complete the testing as soon as possible in order to move to the full production of qTerm.”

Forward-Looking Statements

Certain statements contained in this press release may constitute “forward-looking statements”. Forward-looking statements provide current expectations of future events based on certain assumptions and include any statement that does not directly relate to any historical or current fact. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors as disclosed in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission located at their website ( In addition to these factors, actual future performance, outcomes, and results may differ materially because of more general factors including (without limitation) general industry and market conditions and growth rates, economic conditions, governmental and public policy changes, the Company’s ability to raise capital on acceptable terms, if at all, the Company’s successful development of its products and the integration into its existing products and the commercial acceptance of the Company’s products. The forward-looking statements included in this press release represent the Company’s views as of the date of this press release and these views could change. However, while the Company may elect to update these forward-looking statements at some point in the future, the Company specifically disclaims any obligation to do so. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing the Company’s views as of any date subsequent to the date of the press release.

Dr. Danny Rittman, CTO
[email protected]

Apellis and Sobi Report Positive Top-line Results at 48 Weeks from the Phase 3 PEGASUS Study of Pegcetacoplan in PNH

  • Treatment with
    pegcetacoplan resulted in a sustained improvement in hemoglobin
    with a mean
    , which is
    2.7 g/dL
    seen at Week 16 with pegcetacoplan-treated patients
  • S
    improvements in
    transfusion avoidance, reticulocyte count
    , lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) level
    Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy (FACIT)-fatigue score were observed
    in patients treated with pegcetacoplan
  • Safety profile
    of pegcetacoplan
    consistent with
    previously reported data

WALTHAM, Mass. and STOCKHOLM, Sweden, Dec. 10, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Apellis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: APLS) and Sobi™ Swedish Orphan Biovitrum AB (publ) (Sobi™) (STO:SOBI) today announced positive top-line results at Week 48 from the Phase 3 PEGASUS study, which demonstrated sustained hematological and clinical improvements in patients with paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) who were treated with pegcetacoplan, an investigational, targeted C3 therapy. The safety profile of pegcetacoplan was consistent with previously reported data, and no new safety signals were identified.

All patients (n=77) who completed the 16-week randomized controlled period of the PEGASUS study, which evaluated pegcetacoplan compared to eculizumab, entered the open-label period and received pegcetacoplan from Week 17 to Week 48.

At Week 48, hemoglobin increases were sustained in pegcetacoplan-treated patients with a mean improvement from baseline of 2.7 g/dL, which is equal to the 2.7 g/dL mean increase seen at Week 16 with pegcetacoplan-treated patients. Additionally, eculizumab-treated patients who switched to pegcetacoplan during the open-label period experienced sustained improvements in hemoglobin and other hematological and clinical measures, similar to patients treated with pegcetacoplan monotherapy during the randomized controlled period.


“These long-term results show that pegcetacoplan has the potential to help patients with PNH gain and maintain more complete control of the disease,” said Federico Grossi, M.D., Ph.D., chief medical officer of Apellis. “The sustained hematologic and quality-of-life improvements and consistent safety profile of pegcetacoplan observed in this study adds to a growing body of evidence that demonstrates the potential of this investigational, targeted C3 therapy to elevate the standard of care and improve the lives of people with PNH.”

In addition to a sustained improvement in hemoglobin, patients treated with pegcetacoplan maintained improvements across key secondary endpoints. Throughout the 48-week study, 73% of patients treated with pegcetacoplan remained transfusion free. For comparison, 25% of patients were transfusion free over the year prior to entering the PEGASUS study while on treatment with eculizumab. Improvements across additional markers of disease, such as reticulocyte count, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) levels, and the Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy (FACIT)-fatigue scores, were maintained.

Overall, the safety profile of pegcetacoplan was consistent with previously reported data throughout the 48-week study. Twenty-four of 80 pegcetacoplan monotherapy-treated patients (30%) experienced a serious adverse event (SAE); five of the SAEs (6%) were assessed to be possibly related to study treatment. No cases of meningitis were reported. One death was reported due to COVID-19 and was unrelated to study treatment. The most common adverse events (AEs) reported throughout the study were injection site reactions (36%), hemolysis (24%), and diarrhea (21%). Twelve out of 80 patients (15%) discontinued due to adverse events, with five discontinuations due to hemolysis. Sixty-four of the 67 patients (96%) who completed the open-label period opted to enter the extension study.

“Despite existing treatments, many patients with PNH continue to suffer from persistently low hemoglobin, which can lead to a need for frequent transfusions and debilitating fatigue,” said Ravi Rao, head of R&D and chief medical officer at Sobi. “The long-term data suggest that pegcetacoplan, if approved, has the potential to provide meaningful and durable benefits to these patients with high unmet medical need.”

Marketing applications for pegcetacoplan for the treatment of PNH are under review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA). The FDA granted the application Priority Review designation and set a target action date of May 14, 2021. An opinion from the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) is expected in 2021.

Detailed data will be presented at a future medical congress.

About the PEGASUS Study

The PEGASUS study (APL2-302; NCT03500549) is a multi-center, randomized, head-to-head Phase 3 study in 80 adults with paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH). The primary objective of this study was to establish the efficacy and safety of pegcetacoplan compared to eculizumab. Participants must have been on eculizumab (stable for at least three months) with a hemoglobin level of <10.5 g/dL at the screening visit. During the four-week run-in, patients were dosed with 1080 mg of pegcetacoplan twice weekly (n=41) in addition to their current dose of eculizumab. During the 16-week randomized, controlled period, patients were randomized to receive either 1080 mg of pegcetacoplan twice weekly or their current dose of eculizumab (n=39). All participants completing the randomized controlled period (n=77) opted to enter the open-label pegcetacoplan treatment period.

About Pegcetacoplan

Pegcetacoplan is an investigational, targeted C3 therapy designed to regulate excessive activation of the complement cascade, part of the body’s immune system, which can lead to the onset and progression of many serious diseases. Pegcetacoplan is a synthetic cyclic peptide conjugated to a polyethylene glycol polymer that binds specifically to C3 and C3b. Pegcetacoplan is being evaluated in several clinical studies across hematology, ophthalmology, nephrology, and neurology. Marketing applications for pegcetacoplan for paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) are under review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which has granted the application Priority Review designation, and the European Medicines Agency (EMA). Pegcetacoplan was granted Fast Track designation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of geographic atrophy, and received orphan drug designation for the treatment of C3G by the FDA and European Medicines Agency. For additional information regarding pegcetacoplan clinical trials, visit

About Paroxysmal Nocturnal Hemoglobinuria (PNH) 
PNH is a rare, chronic, life-threatening blood disorder characterized by the destruction of oxygen-carrying red blood cells through extravascular and intravascular hemolysis. Persistently low hemoglobin can result in frequent transfusions and debilitating symptoms such as severe fatigue, hemoglobinuria and difficulty breathing (dyspnea). A retrospective analysis shows that, even on eculizumab, approximately 72% of people with PNH have anemia, a key indicator of ongoing hemolysis.1 The analysis also finds that 36% of patients require one or more transfusions a year and 16% require three or more.1

About Apellis 
Apellis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a global biopharmaceutical company that is committed to leveraging courageous science, creativity, and compassion to deliver life-changing therapies. Leaders in targeted C3 therapies, we aim to develop transformative therapies for a broad range of debilitating diseases that are driven by excessive activation of the complement cascade, including those within hematology, ophthalmology, nephrology, and neurology. For more information, please visit


Sobi is a specialized international biopharmaceutical company transforming the lives of people with rare diseases. Sobi is providing sustainable access to innovative therapies in the areas of hematology, immunology and specialty indications. Today, Sobi employs approximately 1,500 people across Europe, North America, the Middle East, Russia and North Africa. In 2019, Sobi’s revenue amounted to SEK 14.2 billion. Sobi’s share (STO:SOBI) is listed on Nasdaq Stockholm. You can find more information about Sobi at

Apellis Forward-Looking Statement 
Statements in this press release about future expectations, plans and prospects, as well as any other statements regarding matters that are not historical facts, may constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements include, but are not limited to, statements relating to the implications of preliminary clinical data. The words “anticipate,” “believe,” “continue,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “plan,” “potential,” “predict,” “project,” “should,” “target,” “will,” “would” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements, although not all forward-looking statements contain these identifying words. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors, including: whether the company’s clinical trials will be fully enrolled and completed when anticipated; whether preliminary or interim results from a clinical trial will be predictive of the final results of the trial; whether results obtained in preclinical studies and clinical trials will be indicative of results that will be generated in future clinical trials; whether pegcetacoplan will successfully advance through the clinical trial process on a timely basis, or at all; whether the results of the company’s clinical trials will warrant regulatory submissions and whether pegcetacoplan will receive approval from the FDA or equivalent foreign regulatory agencies for GA, PNH, CAD, C3G, IC-MPGN, ALS or any other indication when expected or at all; whether, if Apellis’ products receive approval, they will be successfully distributed and marketed; and other factors discussed in the “Risk Factors” section of Apellis’ Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on November 2, 2020 and the risks described in other filings that Apellis may make with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Any forward-looking statements contained in this press release speak only as of the date hereof, and Apellis specifically disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.



Lissa Pavluk 
[email protected] 

Argot Partners
[email protected]
+1 212.600.1902


Paula Treutiger, Head of Communication & Investor Relations
+ 46 733 666 599
[email protected]

Linda Holmström, Corporate Communication & Investor Relations
+ 46 708 734 095
[email protected]

1. McKinley C. Extravascular Hemolysis Due to C3-Loading in Patients with PNH Treated with Eculizumab: Defining the Clinical Syndrome. Blood. 2017;130:3471.

Weinberg Foundation Announces Additional $5 Million to Expand and Strengthen Baltimore Library Project

Total Foundation Commitment to Initiative Grows to $15 Million

Baltimore, Dec. 10, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation today announced an additional $5 million in funding to support the Baltimore Elementary and Middle School Library Project, also known as the Library Project. This grant brings the Foundation’s total commitment to this initiative to $15 million. The new funding will provide operating support for the existing 15 libraries, as well as capital funds for the development of four new libraries through 2023.


The Baltimore Library Project is a multi-year collaborative effort among the Weinberg Foundation, the State of Maryland, Baltimore City Public Schools, and more than 30 community and government partners. In its ninth year, this initiative designs, builds, equips, and staffs new or renovated elementary/middle school libraries in neighborhoods where many students face academic and economic challenges. To learn more about the Library Project’s history and growth please click here.


“The Library Project was the Foundation’s first signature initiative when it launched in 2011,” said Ambassador Fay Hartog-Levin (Ret.), Weinberg Foundation Chair and Trustee. “By 2024, the Library Project will have leveraged more than $30 million in additional federal, state, and local funds. The Foundation is extremely pleased with the growth and impact of this project, the tangible difference it is making in the first 15 schools, and the collaboration that has driven this initiative.”


“The Library Project exemplifies the potential and power of partnership,” noted Dr. Sonja Brookins Santelises, Chief Executive Officer, Baltimore City Public Schools. “The value and impact of our educators and curricula are multiplied when other sectors join and support our work in such meaningful ways—not only academically, but also by providing critical services that contribute to each student’s personal well-being, enhancing their ability to learn.”


Partnerships are integral to the success of the Library Project. Some Library Project partners are involved with library design, construction, and operation, while others provide support intended to meet a range of personal needs for students, including nutritious food, winter coats, and family engagement services. Many Library Project libraries also host SummerREADS, a drop-in literacy program that combines reading activities, free meals, and hands-on workshops with the goal of preventing learning loss over the summer months. By the spring of 2021, 7,700 children—more than 13 percent of all Baltimore City Public School elementary and middle school students—will have directly benefited from this initiative. 


“Access to books, to a school library, and to professional library staff has been shown to increase the reading scores of children,” noted Heidi M. Daniel, Chief Executive Officer, Enoch Pratt Free Library. “When we have discussions on how to build equity, trust, and a future for our city, libraries should always be part of the conversation. Enoch Pratt Free Library is proud to partner with the Weinberg Foundation on the Library Project, which we view as a critical investment in Baltimore’s future.”


“As we have said since the beginning, the Library Project is a statement made to the entire community that our children in Baltimore City deserve the best,” said Rachel Garbow Monroe, Weinberg Foundation President and CEO. “It has been documented that a well-equipped, well-staffed, well-resourced library can help to override the negative impacts of poverty on student achievement. While the final chapter of the Library Project has not yet been written, the story so far is most encouraging.”


Wanting to ensure that the Library Project was using a successful model, the Weinberg Foundation has completed two separate evaluations in recent years, which included the following findings: 


  • Book checkouts at the first nine schools increased by 400 percent over a four-year period. 
  • In a review of the first three schools, reading fluency scores among third grade students in two of the first three Library Project schools rose from 33 percent of students at benchmark (the term for an acceptable level of proficiency based on standards) to 64 percent at benchmark (a 94 percent increase). Note: The third school utilized a different assessment tool, making a comparison unfeasible. 
  • Library Project students in the third grade were almost three times as likely to meet reading fluency proficiency standards as students in comparison schools. 


The Weinberg Foundation is now working with Baltimore City Public Schools to engage with a nationally recognized evaluator, who will conduct a final study of the Library Project. The proposed evaluation would focus on established criteria for success, as well as identification of replicable best practices—possibly including a case study in how school systems can work with philanthropic and other community partners to create unique, high-quality buildings in the education sector.




About The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation:

The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, one of the largest private charitable foundations in the United States, is dedicated to meeting the basic needs of people experiencing poverty. In 2020, the Foundation will provide approximately $130 million in total grant activity supporting nonprofits that provide direct services in the areas of Housing, Health, Jobs, Education, and Community Services. The Foundation’s priority communities include Baltimore, Chicago, Hawaiʻi, Israel, New York City, Northeastern Pennsylvania, San Francisco, and Rural Communities
(primarily rural areas within proximity to priority communities). The Foundation’s trustees are Ambassador Fay Hartog-Levin (Ret.), Chair; Robert T. Kelly, Jr.; Paula B. Pretlow; Gordon Berlin; and Nimrod Goor. Rachel Garbow Monroe serves as President and CEO. For more information, please visit


Craig Demchak
The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation
[email protected]

Johnson Outdoors Announces Cash Dividend

RACINE, Wis., Dec. 10, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Johnson Outdoors Inc. (Nasdaq:JOUT), a leading global innovator of outdoor recreation equipment and technology, today announced approval by its Board of Directors of a quarterly cash dividend of $.21 per Class A share and $.191 per Class B share.

The quarterly cash dividend is payable on January 28, 2021, to shareholders of record at the close of business on January 14, 2021.

About Johnson Outdoors Inc.

UTDOORS is a leading global innovator of outdoor recreation equipment and technologies that inspire more people to experience the awe of the great outdoors. The company designs, manufactures and markets a portfolio of winning, consumer-preferred brands across four categories: Watercraft Recreation, Fishing, Diving and Camping. Johnson Outdoors’ iconic brands include: Old Town® canoes and kayaks; Ocean Kayak; Carlisle® paddles; Minn Kota® fishing motors, batteries and anchors; Cannon® downriggers; Humminbird® marine electronics and charts; SCUBAPRO® dive equipment; Jetboil® outdoor cooking systems; and, Eureka!®camping and hiking equipment. 

Visit Johnson Outdoors at

Safe Harbor Statement

Certain matters discussed in this press release are “forward-looking statements,” intended to qualify for the safe harbors from liability established by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Statements other than statements of historical fact are considered forward-looking statements. These statements may be identified by the use of forward-looking words or phrases such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “confident,” “could,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “planned,” “potential,” “should,” “will,” “would” or the negative of those terms or other words of similar meaning. Such forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results or outcomes to differ materially from those currently anticipated. Factors that could affect actual results or outcomes include the matters described under the caption “Risk Factors” in Item 1A of the Company’s Form 10-K expected to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on December 11, 2020, and the following: changes in economic conditions, consumer confidence levels and discretionary spending patterns in key markets; uncertainties stemming from political instability (and its impact on the economies in jurisdictions where the Company has operations), changes in U.S. trade policies, tariffs, and the reaction of other countries to such changes; the global outbreaks of disease, such as the COVID-19 pandemic beginning in late 2019 and spreading across the globe in 2020, which has affected, and may continue to affect, market and economic conditions, along with wide-ranging impacts on employees, customers and various aspects of operations; the Company’s success in implementing its strategic plan, including its targeted sales growth platforms, innovation focus and its increasing digital presence; litigation costs related to actions of and disputes with third parties, including competitors; the Company’s continued success in its working capital management and cost-structure reductions; the Company’s success in integrating strategic acquisitions; the risk of future write-downs of goodwill or other long-lived assets; the ability of the Company’s customers to meet payment obligations; the impact of actions of the Company’s competitors with respect to product development or enhancement or the introduction of new products into the Company’s markets; movements in foreign currencies, interest rates or commodity costs; fluctuations in the prices of raw materials or the availability of raw materials or components used by the Company; any disruptions in the Company’s supply chain as a result of material fluctuations in the Company’s order volumes and requirements for raw materials and other components necessary to manufacture and produce the Company’s products; the success of the Company’s suppliers and customers and the impact of any consolidation in the industries of the Company’s suppliers and customers; the ability of the Company to deploy its capital successfully; unanticipated outcomes related to outsourcing certain manufacturing processes; unanticipated outcomes related to litigation matters; and adverse weather conditions. Shareholders, potential investors and other readers are urged to consider these factors in evaluating the forward-looking statements and are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements included herein are only made as of the date of this filing. The Company assumes no obligation, and disclaims any obligation, to update such forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances.

avid Johnson
Patricia Penman
VP & Chief Financial Officer VP – Marketing Services & Global Communications
262-631-6600 262-631-6600


Hooker Furniture Corporation Reports Robust Profitability in Third Quarter

MARTINSVILLE, Va., Dec. 10, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Hooker Furniture Corporation (NASDAQ-GS: HOFT) today reported consolidated net sales of $149.7 million and net income of $10 million, or $0.84 per diluted share, for its fiscal 2021 third quarter ended November 1, 2020.

Consolidated net sales decreased by 5.4%, or $8.5 million, compared to the prior year period, while net income increased 157.5%, or $6.2 million. Earnings per diluted share for the quarter increased 154.5% from $0.33 a year ago.

“Our third quarter financial performance is encouraging on many fronts, as the business rebound that began in mid-May continues to gain momentum,” said Paul B. Toms Jr., chairman and chief executive officer. “Consolidated incoming orders were up 33.8% during the quarter, and our consolidated backlog is up 87.5%, both compared to a year ago. While we had a small consolidated sales dip driven by ongoing disruptions in the supply chain from the COVID-19 pandemic, two of our four segments achieved sales increases compared to the prior year. Sequentially, we grew weekly sales throughout the third quarter and reported a $19 million, or 15% consolidated revenue increase in the third quarter compared to the second quarter,” Toms said.

“Although we are still navigating what we believe will be short-term disruptions in the supply chain due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we believe furniture will be an advantaged sector of the economy, benefitting from a renewed consumer focus on the home, a strong housing market and less discretionary spending competition from travel, dining out and entertainment,” Toms said. “We are adding employees at most locations in order to service the robust demand for our products.”

“Supply chain bottlenecks in an environment of surging demand are the greatest business challenge,” Toms said. “Limitations on supply include scarcity of some raw materials and components, limited availability of shipping containers and ocean vessel space, production delays from some import suppliers and the process of getting our domestic upholstery production ramped back up after the factories were temporarily closed during the economic shutdown earlier this year. In addition, we’ve had to work around some COVID-related employee absences, all while keeping employee safety a top priority.”

Regarding the pandemic-related challenges, Toms said, “We are addressing and working through all the supply chain disruptions and making slow, but steady progress. Our overseas vendors are increasing capacity and production each month, and all three of our domestic upholstery divisions were operating at current full capacity at the end of the third quarter. We are in the process of expanding capacity with additional personnel hires.”

“We’re very encouraged by the current historic levels of orders and backlog; however, due to the current supply chain issues, orders are not converting to shipments as quickly as could be expected in the pre-Pandemic environment and we expect that to continue at least into the fiscal 2022 first quarter,” Toms continued. “In a normal environment, we’d expect backlog to be one helpful indicator of sales for the Hooker Branded and Domestic Upholstery segments and All Other for the upcoming 30-day period and for the upcoming 90-day period for Home Meridian. However, the current logistics challenges are slowing order fulfillment, particularly for Home Meridian whose average order sizes tend to be larger and more episodic versus orders for the traditional Hooker businesses, which tend to be smaller and more predictable. Additionally, Home Meridian orders are programmed out and scheduled for delivery to its larger accounts further into the future than usual, which is also contributing to the increased backlog. We expect these headwinds will continue to impact us and our sales in Q4, with steady improvements beginning in mid-February 2021 after the new year holidays in China and Vietnam,” he concluded.

Consolidated operating income increased by $8.0 million or 161.1% as compared to the prior year third quarter. The Hooker Branded segment reported $7.7 million operating income and maintained operating margin at a high level. The Home Meridian segment reported $2.5 million operating income compared to a $4 million operating loss in the prior year third quarter. The operating loss in the prior year period was due to excess chargebacks with one major customer, excess inventory and carrying costs due to customer returns and excess inventory, and inventory write-downs – all of which either did not reoccur or reoccurred at much lower or near normal levels. Additionally, tariff costs which adversely affected prior year results have been mostly mitigated in the current year through re-sourcing and selected re-pricing efforts. The Domestic Upholstery segment reported $2.4 million in operating income for the third quarter, representing solid improvements compared to operating losses in the first and second quarter of the current fiscal year at the height of the initial COVID-19 crisis.

For the fiscal 2021 first nine months, consolidated net sales were $384.8 million, a decrease of 13.7% or $61.1 million compared to last year, and net loss was $19 million, or -$1.61 per diluted share, compared to $0.85 earnings per diluted share in last year’s first nine months.

The driver for the net loss for the 2021 first nine months occurred in the first quarter at the depth of the COVID economic contraction. Due to the material impact of COVID-19 on the Company’s financial performance, market valuations and other factors in the 2021 first quarter, the Company determined that an intangibles asset valuation analysis was appropriate when reporting 2021 first quarter results. As a result, the first-nine months loss was driven by a $44 million ($33.7 million after tax), non-cash intangible asset impairment charge in Q1 to write down goodwill and certain tradenames in the HMI segment, and goodwill in the Shenandoah division of the Domestic Upholstery segment.

Segment Reporting: Hooker Branded

Hooker Branded segment net sales increased by $3.6 million or 8.2% in the fiscal 2021 third quarter compared to the prior year period. “Both Hooker Casegoods and Hooker Upholstery had steady sales growth, driven by increased overall demand from most residential distribution channels, with incoming orders surging 36% compared to the prior year,” said Jeremy Hoff, president of Hooker Legacy Brands.

Order backlogs at the end of the quarter were up 159% versus quarter-end in the prior year period.

“The Hooker Branded Segment has been able to begin to capitalize on exceptional demand due to our ability to secure manufacturing capacity. Rationalizing our overall assortment in order to prioritize our top collections has maximized our ability to ship,” Hoff said. “Despite having disrupted April and October High Point Markets due to Covid-19, we were able to precut, ship and start selling four major new collections. Developing and utilizing new digital marketing strategies enabled us to launch new products successfully.”

Segment Reporting: Home Meridian

Home Meridian segment net sales were $73.7 million, down $12 million or 14% compared to the prior year third quarter, due primarily to lower sales in the Accentrics Home (“ACH”) and Pulaski Furniture (“PFC”) divisions, which experienced inventory availability challenges. Sales also declined in the Samuel Lawrence Hospitality (“SLH”) division, as the hospitality market has been adversely impacted by the pandemic. The decreases were partially offset by increased sales with mass merchants and Club customers.

“Our Q3 revenue decline was primarily the result of on-going disruptions in our third-party factories and supply chain,” said Lee Boone, president of Home Meridian.  “Disrupted supply of raw materials, components, labor and limited availability of shipping containers have all negatively impacted our ability to produce and ship products.  Each of these areas are sources of potential cost increases, which we are negotiating with suppliers to minimize.”

“Incoming orders remained very strong in Q3, exceeding prior year orders by 36%,” Boone said. “These orders were primarily driven by conventional retailers placing large orders programmed to ship well into next year.  As a result of significant customer order programming and factory shipping delays, order backlogs were up 80% over prior year and 53% above the Q2 ending backlog.  We are working closely with the factory owners and logistics suppliers to increase production and shipping capacity. We expect Q4 shipments to be significantly challenged by these issues, with steady improvement beginning in the fiscal 2022 first quarter after the Chinese New Year holiday and the Tet New Year holiday in Vietnam.” 

“As expected, customer attendance at the September High Point Premarket and October High Point Market was atypical,” Boone added. “Pre-market attendance was up five-fold, and October market attendance was off about 60%.  Taken together, traffic for the Fall market cycle was down about 40%.  Fortunately, we were able to see most of our largest customers, and we presented virtual markets to many of the customers who did not visit our High Point showrooms in person.  As a result, our new product introductions pipeline remains healthy, while focused on a smaller assortment of top performers. We expect these well-received, fresh new looks to arrive at retail in late Spring 2021.” 

“We are making meaningful progress developing new designs and marketing plans for the Spring launch of our Scott Brothers licensed collection.  Retail acceptance has been very enthusiastic for the new “Scott Living” and “Drew and Jonathan Home” brands. We expect our partnership with Scott Brothers to drive incremental sales and profits across multiple HMI divisions beginning in Q2 of next year.”

“Despite sales decreases, HMI gross profit and operating profit improved significantly both in absolute terms and as a percentage of net sales, as this segment experienced higher than expected chargebacks with a major customer as well as excess tariff and higher warehousing and distribution costs, all during the prior year, which have now mostly been resolved,” Boone said.

Segment Reporting: Domestic Upholstery

Domestic Upholstery net sales increased by $321,000 or 1.3% in the fiscal 2021 third quarter compared to the prior year period. In response to reduced orders from the COVID-19 pandemic-related retail shutdown in March/April, Bradington-Young’s and Shenandoah’s manufacturing plants were temporarily closed in April, and Sam Moore operated at reduced capacity. Domestic production facilities gradually resumed operations during the second quarter, and by the end of the third quarter, all three divisions were operating at current full capacity. Incoming orders increased by over 30% compared to the prior year period and led to an order backlog 100% higher than the prior year third quarter-end. “We are very pleased that Domestic Upholstery achieved $2.4 million in operating income, or a 9.6% operating margin for the quarter,” said Hoff.

Segment Reporting: All Other

All Other net sales decreased by 9.4% compared to prior year third quarter due primarily to sales declines at H Contract, which serves senior living centers that have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. All Other’s incoming orders decreased by 28% in the third quarter.

Cash, Debt and Inventory

The net loss recorded for the nine-month period was driven by impairment charges and had no impact on cash flow for the year. Despite a sales decline in the nine-month period, the Company generated $67.6 million in cash from operating activities, distributed $5.7 million in cash dividends to shareholders, and paid $4.8 million in principal and interest on its term loans. Cash and cash equivalents stood at $93.9 million at fiscal 2021 third quarter-end, an increase of $57.8 million compared to the balance at fiscal 2020 year-end. Additionally, the Company had access to $25.1 million in cash surrender value of Company-owned life insurance policies. The Company had $25.7 million in acquisition-related debt as of the end of the fiscal 2021 third quarter which is due and payable on February 1, 2021. The Company expects to re-pay the debt with cash on hand on or before the due date. Consolidated inventories stood at $64.1 million, compared to $92.8 million at the end of fiscal 2020 on February 2, 2020.

The Company is in the process of re-building inventories to fulfill current and expected demand. “Product is flowing from our overseas suppliers, and inventory-in-transit for the Hooker Branded segment is approximately double the rate of a year ago,” said Toms. “Almost immediately upon receipt, incoming products are shipped out to fulfill orders, so we expect that it will be late in the second quarter of fiscal 2022 before we significantly reduce backlogs and actually begin building inventory again,” he said.

Cash and cash equivalents are expected to decline as more inventory is received in the coming months. Along with an aggregate $25.7 million available under its existing revolver to fund working capital, the Company is confident that its strong financial condition can weather the expected short-term impacts of COVID-19.


“As we head into the fourth quarter, we are encouraged by our significant backlog and robust demand from all residential channels,” said Toms. “We’re making progress with our supply chain challenges, as our overseas suppliers and own factories ramp up production to allow us to service this additional demand.

We are concerned about the recent surge in COVID infections and hospitalizations but continue to maintain rigorous safety protocols in all workplaces and are proud that we have had essentially no workplace spread in any location thus far. Those employees who can work remotely continue to do so. The safety and health of our employees remains a top priority.

As we look forward to the next two to three quarters, we are optimistic and believe we have the backlog, order velocity and momentum to deliver strong results, despite the on-going challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on our supply chain,” Toms said.


On December 2, 2020, the Company’s board of directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.18 per share, payable on December 31, 2020, to shareholders of record at December 16, 2020. This represents a 12.5% increase over the previous quarterly dividend and the fifth consecutive annual dividend increase.

Conference Call Details

Hooker Furniture will present its fiscal 2021 third quarter financial results via teleconference and live internet web cast on Thursday morning, December 10, 2020 at 9:00 AM Eastern Time. The dial-in number for domestic callers is 877.665.2466 and the number for international callers is 678.894.3031. The conference ID number is 9423979. The call will be simultaneously web cast and archived for replay on the Company’s web site at in the Investor Relations section.

Hooker Furniture Corporation, in its 97th year of business, is a designer, marketer and importer of casegoods (wooden and metal furniture), leather-and fabric-upholstered furniture for the residential, hospitality and contract markets. The Company also domestically manufactures premium residential custom leather and custom fabric-upholstered furniture. It is ranked among the nation’s largest publicly traded furniture sources, based on 2019 shipments to U.S. retailers, according to a 2020 survey by a leading trade publication. Major casegoods product categories include home entertainment, home office, accent, dining and bedroom furniture in the upper-medium price points sold under the Hooker Furniture brand. Hooker’s residential upholstered seating product lines include Bradington-Young, a specialist in upscale motion and stationary leather furniture, Sam Moore Furniture, a specialist in upscale occasional chairs, settees, sofas and sectional seating with an emphasis on cover-to-frame customization, Hooker Upholstery, imported upholstered furniture targeted at the upper-medium price-range and Shenandoah Furniture, an upscale upholstered furniture company specializing in private label sectionals, modulars, sofas, chairs, ottomans, benches, beds and dining chairs in the upper-medium price points for lifestyle specialty retailers. The H Contract product line supplies upholstered seating and casegoods to upscale senior living facilities. The Home Meridian division addresses more moderate price points and channels of distribution not currently served by other Hooker Furniture divisions or brands. Home Meridian’s brands include Accentrics Home, home furnishings centered around an eclectic mix of unique pieces and materials that offer a fresh take on home fashion, Pulaski Furniture, casegoods covering the complete design spectrum in a wide range of bedroom, dining room, accent and display cabinets at medium price points, Samuel Lawrence Furniture, value-conscious offerings in bedroom, dining room, home office and youth furnishings, Prime Resources, value-conscious imported leather upholstered furniture, Samuel Lawrence Hospitality, a designer and supplier of hotel furnishings and HMidea, a 2019 start-up that provides better-quality, ready-to-assemble furniture to mass marketers and e-commerce customers. Hooker Furniture Corporation’s corporate offices and upholstery manufacturing facilities are located in Virginia and North Carolina, with showrooms in High Point, N.C. and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The company operates eight distribution centers in North Carolina, Virginia, California and Vietnam. Please visit our websites,,,,,, and

Certain statements made in this release, other than those based on historical facts, may be forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements reflect our reasonable judgment with respect to future events and typically can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as “believes,” “expects,” “projects,” “intends,” “plans,” “may,” “will,” “should,” “would,” “could” or “anticipates,” or the negative thereof, or other variations thereon, or comparable terminology, or by discussions of strategy. Forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements. Those risks and uncertainties include but are not limited to: (1) the effect and consequences of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic or future pandemics on a wide range of matters including but not limited to U.S. and local economies; our business operations and continuity; the health and productivity of our employees; and the impact on our global supply chain, the retail environment and our customer base; (2) general economic or business conditions, both domestically and internationally, and instability in the financial and credit markets, including their potential impact on our (i) sales and operating costs and access to financing or (ii) customers and suppliers and their ability to obtain financing or generate the cash necessary to conduct their respective businesses; (3) adverse political acts or developments in, or affecting, the international markets from which we import products, including duties or tariffs imposed on those products by foreign governments or the U.S. government, such as the current U.S. administration’s imposing a 25% tariff on certain goods imported into the United States from China, including almost all furniture and furniture components manufactured in China, with the potential for additional or increased tariffs in the future; (4) sourcing transitions away from China, including the lack of adequate manufacturing capacity and skilled labor and longer lead times, due to competition and increased demand for resources in those countries; (5) risks associated with our reliance on offshore sourcing and the cost of imported goods, including fluctuation in the prices of purchased finished goods, ocean freight costs and warehousing costs and the risk that a disruption in our offshore suppliers could adversely affect our ability to timely fill customer orders; (6) changes in U.S. and foreign government regulations and in the political, social and economic climates of the countries from which we source our products; (7) disruptions involving our vendors or the transportation and handling industries, particularly those affecting imported products from Vietnam and China, including customs issues, labor stoppages, strikes or slowdowns and the availability of shipping containers and cargo ships; (8) difficulties in forecasting demand for our imported products; (9) risks associated with product defects, including higher than expected costs associated with product quality and safety, and regulatory compliance costs related to the sale of consumer products and costs related to defective or non-compliant products, including product liability claims and costs to recall defective products; (10) disruptions and damage (including those due to weather) affecting our Virginia, North Carolina or California warehouses, our Virginia or North Carolina administrative facilities or our representative offices or warehouses in Vietnam and China; (11) risks associated with domestic manufacturing operations, including fluctuations in capacity utilization and the prices and availability of key raw materials, as well as changes in transportation, warehousing and domestic labor costs, availability of skilled labor, and environmental compliance and remediation costs; (12) the risks specifically related to the concentrations of a material part of our sales and accounts receivable in only a few customers; (13) our inability to collect amounts owed to us or significant delays in collecting such amounts; (14) the interruption, inadequacy, security breaches or integration failure of our information systems or information technology infrastructure, related service providers or the internet or other related issues including unauthorized disclosures of confidential information or inadequate levels of cyber-insurance or risks not covered by cyber insurance; (15) achieving and managing growth and change, and the risks associated with new business lines, acquisitions, restructurings, strategic alliances and international operations; (16) the impairment of our long-lived assets, which can result in reduced earnings and net worth; (17) capital requirements and costs, including the servicing of our floating-rate term loans; (18) risks associated with distribution through third-party retailers, such as non-binding dealership arrangements; (19) the cost and difficulty of marketing and selling our products in foreign markets; (20) changes in domestic and international monetary policies and fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates affecting the price of our imported products and raw materials; (21) the cyclical nature of the furniture industry, which is particularly sensitive to changes in consumer confidence, the amount of consumers’ income available for discretionary purchases, and the availability and terms of consumer credit; (22) price competition in the furniture industry; (23) competition from non-traditional outlets, such as internet and catalog retailers; (24) changes in consumer preferences, including increased demand for lower-quality, lower-priced furniture due to, among other things, fluctuating consumer confidence, amounts of discretionary income available for furniture purchases and the availability of consumer credit and (25) other risks and uncertainties described under Part I, Item 1A. “Risk Factors” in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended February 2, 2020. Any forward-looking statement that we make speaks only as of the date of that statement, and we undertake no obligation, except as required by law, to update any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise and you should not expect us to do so.

Table I
(In thousands, except per share data)
  For the
  Thirteen Weeks Ended   Thirty-Nine Weeks Ended
  Nov 1,   Nov 3,   Nov 1,   Nov 3,
Net sales $ 149,687   $ 158,176   $ 384,821     $ 445,942
Cost of sales   116,204     129,777     305,684       363,201
Gross profit   33,483     28,399     79,137       82,741
Selling and administrative expenses   19,850     22,810     57,920       67,286
Goodwill impairment charges           39,568      
Trade name impairment charges           4,750      
Intangible asset amortization   596     596     1,788       1,788
Operating income/(loss)   13,037     4,993     (24,889 )     13,667
Other income, net   158     309     107       215
Interest expense, net   106     316     433       986
Income/(loss) before income taxes   13,089     4,986     (25,215 )     12,896
Income tax expense/(benefit)   2,996     1,066     (6,263 )     2,829
Net income/(loss) $ 10,093   $ 3,920   $ (
)   $ 10,067
Earnings/(Loss) per share              
Basic $ 0.85   $ 0.33   $ (
)   $ 0.85
Diluted $ 0.84   $ 0.33   $ (
)   $ 0.85
Weighted average shares outstanding:            
Basic   11,833     11,789     11,818       11,782
Diluted   11,939     11,816     11,818       11,821
Cash dividends declared per share $ 0.16   $ 0.15   $ 0.48     $ 0.45

Table II
(In thousands)
  For the
  Thirteen Weeks Ended   Thirty-Nine Weeks Ended
  Nov 1,   Nov 3,   Nov 1,   Nov 3,
    2020       2019       2020       2019  
Net income/(loss) $ 10,093     $ 3,920     $ (
)   $ 10,067  
Other comprehensive income (loss):              
Gain on pension plan settlement         (520 )           (520 )
Income tax effect on settlement         124             124  
Amortization of actuarial loss   84       37       253       111  
Income tax effect on amortization   (20 )     (9 )     (60 )     (27 )
Adjustments to net periodic benefit cost   64       (368 )     193       (312 )
Total Comprehensive Income/(Loss) $ 10,157     $ 3,552     $ (
)   $ 9,755  

Table III
(In thousands)
As of November 1,   February 2,
    2020       2020  
Current assets      
Cash and cash equivalents $ 93,874     $ 36,031  
Trade accounts receivable, net   75,297       87,653  
Inventories   64,083       92,813  
Income tax recoverable         751  
Prepaid expenses and other current assets   4,543       4,719  
Total current assets   237,797       221,967  
Property, plant and equipment, net   27,315       29,907  
Cash surrender value of life insurance policies   25,104       24,888  
Deferred taxes   14,152       2,880  
Operating leases right-of-use assets   36,322       39,512  
Intangible assets, net   26,833       33,371  
Goodwill   490       40,058  
Other assets   1,244       1,125  
Total non-current assets   131,460       171,741  
Total assets $ 369,257     $ 393,708  
Liabilities and Shareholders’ Equity      
Current liabilities      
Current portion of term loans $ 25,741     $ 5,834  
Trade accounts payable   28,452       25,493  
Accrued salaries, wages and benefits   4,491       4,933  
Income tax payable   2,015        
Customer deposits   4,319       3,351  
Current portion of lease liabilities   6,772       6,307  
Other accrued expenses   3,045       4,211  
Total current liabilities   74,835       50,129  
Long term debt         24,282  
Deferred compensation   11,162       11,382  
Lease liabilities   30,937       33,794  
Other long-term liabilities   1,187        
Total long-term liabilities   43,286       69,458  
Total liabilities   118,121       119,587  
Shareholders’ equity      
Common stock, no par value, 20,000 shares authorized, 11,887 and 11,838 shares issued and outstanding on each date   53,055       51,582  
Retained earnings   198,601       223,252  
Accumulated other comprehensive loss   (520 )     (713 )
Total shareholders’ equity   251,136       274,121  
Total liabilities and shareholders’ equity $ 369,257     $ 393,708  

Table IV
(In thousands)
  For the
  Thirty-Nine Weeks Ended
  Nov 1,   Nov 3,
    2020       2019  
Operating Activities:      
Net (loss)/income $ (
)   $ 10,067  
Adjustments to reconcile net income to net cash provided by operating activities:      
Goodwill and intangible asset impairment charges   44,318        
Depreciation and amortization   5,052       5,260  
Gain on pension settlement         (520 )
Gain on disposal of assets         (271 )
Deferred income tax (benefit) / expense   (10,143 )     1,461  
Noncash restricted stock and performance awards   1,473       891  
Provision for doubtful accounts and sales allowances   4,527       1,365  
Gain on life insurance policies   (1,750 )     (715 )
Changes in assets and liabilities:      
Trade accounts receivable   7,829       18,589  
Inventories   28,730       1,589  
Income tax recoverable   751       (2,348 )
Prepaid expenses and other current assets   620       (638 )
Trade accounts payable   2,947       (13,456 )
Accrued salaries, wages, and benefits   (441 )     (2,553 )
Accrued income taxes   2,015       (3,159 )
Customer deposits   967       10,006  
Operating lease liabilities   797       536  
Other accrued expenses   (1,165 )     350  
Deferred compensation   32       156  
Net cash provided by operating activities $ 67,607     $ 26,610  
Investing Activities:      
Purchases of property and equipment   (642 )     (4,745 )
Proceeds received on notes from sale of assets         1,465  
Premiums paid on life insurance policies   (519 )     (558 )
Proceeds received on life insurance policies   1,489        
Net cash provided by/(used in) investing activities   328       (3,838 )
Financing Activities:      
Payments for long-term debt   (4,393 )     (4,393 )
Cash dividends paid   (5,699 )     (5,316 )
Cash used in financing activities   (10,092 )     (9,709 )
Net increase in cash and cash equivalents   57,843       13,063  
Cash and cash equivalents – beginning of year   36,031       11,435  
Cash and cash equivalents – end of quarter $ 93,874     $ 24,498  
Supplemental disclosure of cash flow information:      
Cash paid for income taxes $ 2,301     $ 6,754  
Cash paid for interest, net   365       852  
Non-cash transactions:      
Increase in lease liabilities arising from obtaining right-of-use assets $ 2,103     $ 272  
Increase in property and equipment through accrued purchases   12       25  

Table V
(In thousands)
  Thirteen Weeks Ended   Thirty-Nine Weeks Ended
  November 1, 2020   November 3, 2019     November 1, 2020   November 3, 2019  
    % Net   % Net     % Net   % Net
Net Sales   Sales   Sales     Sales   Sales
Hooker Branded $ 47,287 31.6 % $ 43,703   27.6 %   $ 113,268   29.4 % $ 122,707   27.5 %
Home Meridian   73,727 49.3 %   85,776   54.2 %     202,560   52.6 %   240,594   54.0 %
Domestic Upholstery   25,350 16.9 %   25,029   15.9 %     59,640   15.6 %   73,016   16.3 %
All Other   3,323 2.2 %   3,668   2.3 %     9,353   2.4 %   9,625   2.2 %
Consolidated $ 149,687 100 % $ 158,176   100 %   $ 384,821   100 % $ 445,942   100 %
Operating income/(loss)                  
Hooker Branded $ 7,686 16.3 % $ 6,188   14.2 %   $ 15,108   13.3 % $ 15,453   12.6 %
Home Meridian   2,510 3.4 %   (3,955 ) -4.6 %     (26,754 ) -13.2 %   (9,013 ) -3.7 %
Domestic Upholstery   2,421 9.6 %   2,278   9.1 %     (14,399 ) -24.1 %   5,830   8.0 %
All Other   420 12.6 %   482   13.2 %     1,156   12.4 %   1,397   14.5 %
Consolidated $ 13,037 8.7 % $ 4,993   3.2 %   $ (
) -6.5 % $ 13,667   3.1 %

Prior-Year amounts have been restated to reflect a change in the Company’s reportable segments.

For more information, contact:

Paul B. Toms Jr.

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Phone: (276) 632-2133, or

Paul A. Huckfeldt, Senior Vice President, Finance & Accounting & Chief Financial Officer

Phone: (276) 666-3949

TransUnion and The Floow Partner to Deliver Actionable Insights to Insurers Amid Market Shifts

TransUnion’s partnership with The Floow will help bring telematics insights to industry, creating more opportunity for insurers

CHICAGO, Dec. 10, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — To better equip insurers with insights that can offer stronger resilience against market shifts, TransUnion (NYSE: TRU) today announced a partnership with The Floow, a leading telematics services provider. TransUnion will begin introducing The Floow’s four main telematics solutions – FloowDrive, FloowFleet, FloowKit and FloowScore – that capture real-time driving behavior, to help insurers create greater pricing sophistication, identify market risks and improve customer experiences.

Telematics provides a near real-time view on what is happening with a particular driver and can help both businesses and consumers mitigate risk and address customer needs in the long and short-term. The Floow’s solutions complement TransUnion’s broad data set by offering a more complete picture of consumers and businesses.

“At a time of unprecedented market disruption, our partnership with The Floow can help deliver unique, actionable insights to insurers,” said Mark McElroy, executive vice president and head of TransUnion’s insurance business unit. “We are excited to partner with The Floow and introduce insurers to information that can improve the overall customer experience while also safeguarding businesses against market shifts both now and in the future.”

Insurers also will benefit from The Floow’s seamless implementation process. The device-agnostic nature of The Floow’s telematics data refinery, coupled with Scoring as a Service solutions, limits friction by allowing customers to use telematics from any device, 3rd-party telematics program, or connected car. Further, the accuracy and predictive power of the solutions allow insurers to better measure risk and price policies compared to traditional risk models.

“The Floow is driven by a dedication to deliver the highest quality telematics technology and services in a customer-focused manner, and TransUnion shares this same commitment to providing more reliable and accurate data and insights,” said Aldo Monteforte, founder and CEO of The Floow. “As we move through these unique times, it will be imperative for insurers to have access to information and solutions that allow for a greater understanding of how market changes have impacted both businesses and consumers.”

About TransUnion (NYSE: TRU)

TransUnion is a global information and insights company that makes trust possible in the modern economy. We do this by providing a comprehensive picture of each person so they can be reliably and safely represented in the marketplace. As a result, businesses and consumers can transact with confidence and achieve great things. We call this Information for Good.®

A leading presence in more than 30 countries across five continents, TransUnion provides solutions that help create economic opportunity, great experiences and personal empowerment for hundreds of millions of people.

About The Floow

Based in Detroit in the U.S. and Sheffield in the UK, The Floow is a leading telematics service provider built on the mission to make mobility safer and smarter for everyone.  

We do this by delivering Connected Insurance solutions to motor insurers that:

1) Improves their ability to assess risks through a suite of behavioral scores that are highly predictive of claims propensity and improve risk differentiation compared to traditional risk models.
2) Reduces operating costs by engaging drivers to help them improve their performance and turning them into partners in risk prevention, preventing fraud and delivering on timely FNOL
3) Collects data from smartphones as well as most other sensing devices or telematics services in an agnostic fashion

Over the years, The Floow has been recognized with a number of awards including the Made in Sheffield Mark, named winner of Prince Michael International Road Safety Awards, recipient of the Queen’s Enterprise Award (Innovation), winner of Red Herring 100 in 2017 and recipient of DIAmond Award in 2017.  

Our FloowDrive product was named Best Smarter Travel Innovation at the Smarter Travel Awards and The Floow was named winner of the Technology Innovation in the European Usage-based Insurance Industry from Frost & Sullivan in 2018, winner of the Insurance Times Tech and Innovation Data Analytics Excellence Award in 2019 and our FloowCoach programme was named Private Sector Initiative of the Year at the 2020 Young Driver Focus Awards.

For more information please visit:

Contact Dave Blumberg
E-mail [email protected]
Telephone 312-972-6646