Utah-based Even Stevens sandwich shop files for bankruptcy

SALT LAKE CITY — A popular Utah sandwich restaurant chain has declared chapter 11 bankruptcy after an executive said it “expanded too quickly.”

Even Stevens, which had a combined 15 stores in Utah, Arizona, Idaho, Colorado, Texas and Washington, has already shuttered five of its locations “in order to right-size the company and put it on track to achieve enterprise-level profits,” Brooks Pickering, chief restructuring officer for the company, said in a news release Thursday.

According to bankruptcy documents filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Arizona, Even Stevens owes between $1 million and $10 million combined to dozens of creditors. The restaurant currently has between zero and $50,000 in assets, the document states.

Among Utah businesses to which the chain is most in debt, Even Stevens owes West Jordan-based Sysco Intermountain $380,000, Salt Lake City-based Standard Restaurant Supply more than $100,000 and Orem-based Strategic Technology $44,000, according to the document. It also owes more than $4.5 million in inter-company loans.

As part of its restructuring, the company is closing its Provo location, as well as locations in Arizona, Texas and Colorado. All employees at the Provo location have been offered jobs at other Utah locations, the release states.

The decision to file bankruptcy came after “seven months of business restructuring,” according to the company. The chapter 11 bankruptcy filing “allows the company to conduct business during the restructuring process.”

“Today’s action is an important step on our path to financial stability,” Pickering said. “As a start-up, Even Stevens came out of the gate with positive momentum but expanded too quickly, saddling the company with significant financial and operational challenges.

“While the restructuring to date has significantly improved operations, the remaining challenges require the tools afforded through the bankruptcy process to properly protect the interests of our investors, financiers, employees and customers. With the proper …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Business News

Levi’s soars in return to public markets

NEW YORK — Levi Strauss & Co.’s return to the public markets got an enthusiastic reception from investors who believe the iconic brand is ready for a comeback — and still has a lot more room to grow.

The stock, which is listed under the ticker “LEVI,” opened for trading Thursday at $22.22, above the $17 offering price and blowing past the originally expected range of $14 to $16. As of Thursday’s close, shares popped nearly 32 percent, closing at $22.41 per share. That gave Levi’s a market value of $8.64 billion, according to FactSet.

Levi’s seems to have successfully convinced investors, at least for now, that it has a lot of opportunities to expand beyond just jeans, from tops to bolstering its women’s business. In its prospectus, the company says it plans to use the proceeds from the public offering to expand more aggressively into China, India and Brazil and also build out more retail stores, which as of late last year totaled 824.

But jeans are still the company’s mainstay and that was apparent on Thursday, when in a rare move the New York Stock Exchange suspended its “no jeans” policy to commemorate Levi’s re-entry, transforming the floor from suits and ties into a sea of blue denim, with its traders sporting jeans and denim jackets.

More than 120 employees from Levi’s global offices, including its CEO Chip Bergh outfitted in denim, were on the trading floor. On Wednesday, the NYSE even Tweeted, “Tomorrow we’ll be in our 501s.”

The 166-year-old company is proving to Wall Street there’s staying power for a legacy name that dates back to 1853 when its namesake founder started a wholesales dry goods business in San Francisco. Strauss and tailor Jacob Davis invented jeans 20 years later after receiving a patent to create cotton denim workpants with copper …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Business News

1 more time: Levi Strauss goes public again

NEW YORK — Levi Strauss & Co., which gave America its first pair of blue jeans, is public for the second time.

The stock, which is listed under the ticker “LEVI,” opened for trading on Thursday up 31 percent on very strong demand and recently changed hands at $22.90, up $5.90. The offering priced at $17, above an originally expected range of $14 to $16.

As of late Thursday afternoon, shares popped nearly 33 percent.

In a rare move, the New York Stock Exchange suspended its “no jeans” policy on Thursday to commemorate the event, transforming the floor from suits and ties into a sea of blue denim, with its traders sporting jeans and denim jackets.

More than 120 employees from Levi’s global offices, including its CEO Chip Bergh outfitted in denim, were on the trading floor. On Wednesday, the NYSE even Tweeted, “Tomorrow we’ll be in our 501s.”

The 166-year-old company, which owns the Dockers and Denizen brands, previously went public in 1971, but the namesake founder’s descendants, the Haas family, took it private again in 1985.

The IPO comes as the iconic brand is staging a comeback under Bergh even as it faces increasing competition and a changing retail landscape. Women are opting for yoga pants or other comfortable athletic sportswear that can be worn every day. And the brand is also contending with a shrinking number of department stores, once its traditional venue of distribution.

Levi’s stands out from a string of tech companies — from Spotify to Dropbox — that have made their debuts in the public markets in recent months.

“I would like to say we’re the original Silicon Valley startup,” said Bergh, dressed in 501 jeans and a denim jacket, during an interview with The Associated Press at the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday. “We started during the Gold Rush, and …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Business News

Facebook left millions of passwords readable by employees

SAN FRANCISCO — Facebook left millions of user passwords readable by its employees for years, the company said Thursday, an acknowledgement it offered after a security researcher posted about the issue online.

By storing passwords in readable plain text, Facebook violated fundamental computer-security practices. Those call for organizations and websites to save passwords in a scrambled form that makes it almost impossible to recover the original text.

“There is no valid reason why anyone in an organization, especially the size of Facebook, needs to have access to users’ passwords in plain text,” said cybersecurity expert Andrei Barysevich of Recorded Future.

Facebook said there is no evidence its employees abused access to this data. But thousands of employees could have searched them. The company said the passwords were stored on internal company servers, where no outsiders could access them.

The incident reveals yet another huge and basic oversight at a company that insists it is a responsible guardian for the personal data of its 2.2 billion users worldwide.

The security blog KrebsOnSecurity said Facebook may have left the passwords of some 600 million Facebook users vulnerable. In a blog post , Facebook said it will likely notify “hundreds of millions” of Facebook Lite users, millions of Facebook users and tens of thousands of Instagram users that their passwords were stored in plain text.

Facebook Lite is a version designed for people with older phones or low-speed internet connections. It is used primarily in developing countries.

Last week, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg touted a new “privacy-focused vision ” for the social network that would emphasize private communication over public sharing. The company wants to encourage small groups of people to carry on encrypted conversations that neither Facebook nor any other outsider can read.

The fact that the company couldn’t manage to do something as simple as encrypting passwords, however, raises …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Business News