Zale Update: The Return of the Old Crew?

There were two Zale related articles today in the Wall Street Journal and Dallas Morning News, both talking about Apollo Capital Management injecting money in the company, and instituting an “old guard” management team that would include former chairman Robert DiNicola and former Zale division president Pam Romano …

The articles are true and have given a nice bump to the Zale stock — but knowledgeable sources warn that the publicity is somewhat “ahead of itself,” in that there is a lot that has to be done before any bid — never mind deal — is finalized.  There are also, as the articles mentioned, several bids for Zale and a lot of different ways this could play out.

Meanwhile, Donald Zale, a member of the founding family and former CEO,  confirmed to me that he has talked with Apollo about getting involved in the company again, including a possible seat on the board.

“The problem with the company is it hasn’t had good jewelry marketing or merchandising people for quite some time,” he said. “The apparel folks they had running the company were not successful. They need people who are familiar with the industry. I have all the confidence in the world in Bob and the people he surrounds himself with.”

Under what time frame will this play out? Zale said he didn’t know, but added: “They need to have a solution sooner rather than later.”

JCK News Director