MALVERN, PA — USA Technologies announced that it has taken action to reduce operating expenses by approximately 40% beginning in April 2009, the start of its fiscal fourth quarter.
The company has reduced its staffing level, according to USAT chief George Jensen. He also anticipates discontinuing the costs associated with the development of its recently introduced ePort G8 and ePort Edge by the end of the current fiscal quarter.
USAT expects the layoffs and other actions to reduce monthly cash operating expenses to $800,000 in its fiscal fourth quarter, which begins April 1. That’s down $554,000 from its monthly cash operating expenses of $1.354 million through the first nine months of the 2008 calendar year.
“With the anticipated reduction in monthly operating expenses, we believe USA Technologies should be moving closer towards profitability. With the planned elimination of development costs and other anticipated operating expenses, we will enter our 2010 fiscal year with a dramatically reduced cost structure and an improved line of sight towards profitability,” said Jensen.
USAT posted a net loss of $16.4 million in fiscal 2008 and a 2007 net loss of $17.7 million. Gross profit more than doubled to $3.4 million in fiscal 2008 from $1.3 million the preceding year.
USA Technologies is a leading supplier of networked devices and wireless noncash transactions, associated financial/network services and energy management systems.
Merisant Expects Normal Operations During Restructuring
CHICAGO — Merisant Worldwide Inc., a global leader in tabletop sweeteners, announced that the company and its U.S. affiliates have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
The action is being taken to strengthen Merisant’s financial health and long-term growth prospects. Its U.S. and global businesses will continue normal operations during the restructuring.
The court has approved all first-day motions that Merisant submitted, allowing the company to continue to operate its business in a normal manner. Merisant also announced that it has secured a $20 million debtor-in-possession financing facility from Wayzata Investment Partners, to ensure that it has adequate liquidity to operate while it restructures its debt.
Paul Block, chairman and chief executive officer of Merisant, said the company will continue to support its current brands and will launch its PureVia all-natural, zero-calorie sweetener in partnership with PepsiCo during the restructuring. It also will move forward with plans to introduce natural sweeteners in other markets.
“Simply put, this balance sheet restructuring is about reducing the company’s debt, not disposing of assets, reducing the workforce or reconfiguring our operations,” Block stated.
In addition to Equal and Canderel, Merisant markets its products under 18 other brands in more than 90 countries.
Coalition Launches Campaign For Nutrition Information Standard
WASHINGTON — The Coalition for Responsible Nutrition Information has launched a campaign, encouraging the establishment of legislation that sets uniform standards for how chain restaurants and other foodservice establishments post nutrition information.
The group believes that requiring restaurants to supply consistent nutrition information to patrons could encourage weight loss and help consumers better scrutinize what they eat. “The more you know, the more control you will have over your health and well-being,” the organization asserted.
“People are always looking for help to make better choices, especially at the beginning of a new year. We know this is what consumers want, and we want to provide them with that information. That is why we are working to bring more nutrition information to more people across the country when they dine out,” said Sheila Weiss, director of nutrition policy at the National Restaurant Association.
The Labeling Education and Nutrition (LEAN) Act is designed to provide consumers with a set range of nutrition information for menu items, including sodium, trans fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, carbohydrate, sugar and protein content, as well as caloric content, to help them make decisions that are conducive to their lifestyles. In addition, the information would be provided in formats that correspond with restaurants’ individual dining experiences, through materials like brochures, posters, in-store computer kiosks and menus.
Sens. Tom Carper (D-DE) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) are sponsors of act, introduced last fall as SB 3575. A companion bill, HR 7187, is sponsored by Rep. Jim Matheson (D-UT).
Lisa Katic, RD, an expert in scientific and regulatory programs in nutrition who is active in many health professional associations that include The American Dietetic Association, believes the uniform national standard proposed in the LEAN Act is the best approach for consumers.
“Combined with behavioral changes and increased education, the detailed nutrition information the LEAN Act offers will help consumers throughout the nation keep their New Year’s Resolutions to become healthier in 2009,” said Katic.
Information is available online at nationalnutritionstandards.com.
Full Motion Beverage Signs Letter Of Intent To Acquire Mojito Brands
STROUDSBURG, PA — Full Motion Beverage Inc., a publicly traded alternative beverage company based here, announced that it has signed a letter of intent to acquire Mojito Brands Inc., a New York developer and manufacturer of ready-to-drink coffee beverages.
Upon completion of the acquisition of Mojito Brands, current Mojito CEO Dean Petkanas will become CEO of Full Motion Beverage, and a member of its board of directors. Soon after the acquisition, under the direction of Petkanas and the Full Motion Beverage board, the company plans to acquire other brands.
Mojito currently makes and distributes its Mojava RTD coffee line in the United States from its executive office and warehouse facilities in Plainview, NY.
“I am very excited at the options that Full Motion can bring to MOBY and the other brands we are assessing for acquisition,” said incoming CEO Petkanas. “The alternative beverage market is a multi-billion-dollar opportunity, and we are positioning our company in the coffee, energy shot, flavored water and kids’ beverage markets to take advantages of economies of scale in cross-branding, as well as distribution opportunities.”
Pepsi Bottling Ventures Plans To Acquire Two Idaho Bottlers
RALEIGH, NC — Pepsi Bottling Ventures LLC, headquartered here, announced that it has signed a letter of intent to purchase the Nagel Beverage Co. (Boise, ID) and the Pepsi-Cola Bottling Co. (Twin Falls, ID), both Pepsi-Cola independent franchise bottlers. The terms provide for a closing by the end of February 2009. The firms’ combined franchise territory includes 18 southern Idaho counties.
Nagel Beverage was established in 1895 by John Nagel Sr., and Pepsi-Cola Bottling of Twin Falls was established in 1935 as a Nagel-Levander family partnership. Nagel family-owned businesses have a state-of-the-art manufacturing and sales distribution facility in Nampa, ID, and sales distribution centers in Twin Falls, McCall and Sun Valley, ID.
PBV president and chief executive officer Keith Reimer said Pepsi Bottling Ventures is the nation’s third-largest anchor bottler for Pepsi-Cola, operating 23 manufacturing, distribution and sales facilities serving more than 8 million consumers in North Carolina, New York, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and Vermont.
Rudy Nutrition And Marshall Holdings Terminate Merger Agreement
LAS VEGAS — Rudy Nutrition reports that it and Marshall Holdings International have mutually terminated the merger agreement between the companies. The proposed termination was not, as previously reported by Marshall, a unilateral decision by Marshall upon its completion of due diligence performed on both companies. Rudy Nutrition officials said they intend to continue to seek a merger with a public company that provides “appropriate synergies.”
Rudy Nutrition creates, distributes and licenses “Rudy” branded products that offer healthier alternative choices, backed by the inspirational message to “dream big and never give up.” The company was founded by Notre Dame legend and real-life inspiration for the blockbuster movie “Rudy,” Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger.