September 8th, 2005
Whitehall Jewellers Inc. said on Thursday it needs extra capital to support itself and that its newly designated chief executive has resigned, Reuters reported.
Whitehall said it is considering raising new debt or equity financing and has asked for temporary extensions on payments to suppliers and other accounts. It said it did not expect to file its second-quarter results "on a timely basis" and gave no estimate as to when they could be expected, but said they would show a net loss, the report said.
The New York Stock Exchange contacted Whitehall on Tuesday after its shares plummeted nearly 22% to their lowest level since 2000, but the company would not comment on the unusual trading activity.
Whitehall said Beryl Raff, who was supposed to start as the company's new ceo within weeks, resigned on Wednesday and plans to return the compensation she has already been paid. The Chicago-based jewellery retailer's former chairman and ceo, Hugh Patinkin, died in March.
Whitehall, whose declining sales at its Whitehall, Lundstrom and Marks Bros. jewellery stores led to a wider loss in the first quarter, has paid out $12.73 million to settle lawsuits related to last year's federal securities fraud probe, said the Reuters report.
Raff, whose appointment as ceo was effective August 10, was also set to become a member of the board of directors once her active employment began. Raff had been a fine jewellery executive at J.C. Penney Co. and before that, the ceo and chairman of Zale Corp.