Cosi Inc. (NASDAQ: COSI) is going to see if anyone is willing to take a bite on its business. The restaurant company’s board has formed a special committee of independent directors to review and evaluate strategic alternatives. The Deerfield, Ill.-based company also wrapped up North Point Advisors LLC as a financial adviser. Cosi has 101 company owned and 51 franchised locations in the United States and the United Arab Emirates. For the third quarter, Cosi’s losses widened slightly to $3.1 million from $3 million a year earlier. Revenue edged higher to $34.9 million from $34.8 million.
Panacos Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq: PANC) plans to assess strategic alternatives. The company has also agreed to pay Hercules Technology Growth Capital Inc. (Nasdaq: HTGC) about $17.9 million in principal and interest outstanding under a $20 million loan agreement. This deal ends the companies’ relationship and Hercules will withdraw its default notice on Watertown, Mass.-based Panacos, which had disputed the default claim. The developer of anti-viral therapies will now review its options, including a restructuring. It will also pursue financing possibilities and partnerships for its compounds and programs. The company’s led compound (Bevirimat) is a new class of HIV drugs under development called maturation inhibitors.
Bow Valley Energy Ltd.’s (TSX: BVX) board has formed a special committee to consider options. It hired Scotia Waterous Inc. to help review alternatives including asset sales, equity alternatives, joint venture opportunities and a merger or the sale of the entire company. The Calgary, Alberta-based oil and gas concern separately hired Tristone Capital Inc. to help with the possible sale of all or part of its Peik North Sea asset, which is a non-producing pre-sanction property.
Lenox Group Inc. (OTCBB: LENX) has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection because of its decreasing revenue and the poor retail environment in the United States. The maker of china and giftware products will continue to operate as normal as it pursues the sale of its business. Its term-loan lenders have agreed to acquire all of Lenox’s assets through an entity being formed for the cancellation of a portion of the Eden Prairie, Minn.-based company’s secured debt. The agreement is tentative and Lenox can pursue better proposals. For the second quarter ended June 28, 2008, Lenox’ sales dropped to $76.2 million from $93 million a year earlier.