Introducing a new category: Odd and ends

oddsthumbnail.jpegWhen there’s no gold star to hand out, Friday seems like a good day for odds and ends — items that would otherwise go unnoticed because they may not rise to a full post, but which are interesting none the less:

Meat producer Tyson (TSN) disclosed earlier this week that its audit committee has “engaged outside counsel to conduct a review of certain payments that have been made by its subsidiary in Mexico”. That’s SEC-filing speak for bribes, though in fairness, Tyson says that the payments are unlikely to be material. Still, the company has notified both the SEC and the Department of Justice over it’s preliminary filings.

Grocery chains may be in trouble with shrinking margins (as if they could get much lower) and increased competition. But that didn’t stop A&P (GAP) from doling out $116K to Executive Chairman Christian Taub under the company’s “auto program” according to the preliminary proxy filed late yesterday. At least I now know why out of my three local grocery stores, A&P seems to always have the highest prices.

Orbitz, which filed for its IPO yesterday, had an interesting disclosure about COO Mike Nelson’s taxes. The company spent $100K on “tax assistance” and tax preparation last year. It’s not clear what tax assistance really means, but my best guess is that it’s a nicer way of saying tax gross up.

And in another IPO filed this week, Deltek (PROJ) disclosed that it spent $625K on relocation expenses for CEO Kevin Parker, which is more than the $450K that Parker made last year.

Finally, there’s activist investor Robert Chapman, who back in March became the first person to use the F-word in an SEC filing, cleaned things up a bit by using “genitalia of steel” in this13-D filed earlier this week on Glenayre Technologies (GEMS). Is this a sign of Chapman losing his edge?