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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 2, 2012 | By Susan Denley, Los Angeles Times
Robert E. Gray, co-founder and longtime chief executive of women's clothier St. John Knits, died Tuesday at his Orange County home after a long illness. He was 86. Gray and his wife, Marie, started the company in a San Fernando Valley garage in 1962 on a romantic whim. Marie Hermann, a model who used the surname St. John professionally, wanted to raise money for a Hawaiian honeymoon, the story goes. She persuaded her fiance, Gray, who was an apparel salesman, to show a sample of a dress she designed and knit to a store buyer, thinking she might sell 20. Gray returned with orders for almost 200. "I absolutely collapsed," Marie Gray said Thursday.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 2, 2012 | By Susan Denley, Los Angeles Times
Robert E. Gray, co-founder and longtime chief executive of women's clothier St. John Knits, died Tuesday at his Orange County home after a long illness. He was 86. Gray and his wife, Marie, started the company in a San Fernando Valley garage in 1962 on a romantic whim. Marie Hermann, a model who used the surname St. John professionally, wanted to raise money for a Hawaiian honeymoon, the story goes. She persuaded her fiance, Gray, who was an apparel salesman, to show a sample of a dress she designed and knit to a store buyer, thinking she might sell 20. Gray returned with orders for almost 200. "I absolutely collapsed," Marie Gray said Thursday.
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BUSINESS
February 4, 1999 | LESLIE EARNEST, TIMES STAFF WRITER
St. John Knits Inc. said Wednesday it has accepted a sweetened offer from the founding Gray family to buy the maker of upscale women's clothing and take the firm private. The Irvine company's board accepted a bid from Chief Executive Robert E. Gray, his family and Vestar Capital Partners to acquire the bulk of the company for $30 a share, or $522 million. In December, the Grays had offered $28 a share.
BUSINESS
June 8, 2001 | LESLIE EARNEST, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Robert E. Gray, who with his wife founded upscale women's clothier St. John Knits International Inc. four decades ago, will retire at the end of the year, the Irvine company said Thursday. The announcement comes five months after Gray, 75, stepped aside as chief executive and was succeeded by Hugh Mullins, a former Neiman Marcus executive. St. John said then that Gray, who had retained his role as board chairman, would remain active with the company. A statement released by St.
BUSINESS
April 23, 1996
St. John Knits Inc. said Monday that Kelly Gray has replaced President Robert C. Davis, who resigned to pursue other interests. Gray, daughter of St. John founder and Chairman Robert Gray, has been serving as executive vice president and creative director, as well as a member of the company's corporate board. Gray has also been handling design responsibilities for the St. John and Griffith & Gray product lines of women's clothing and accessories.
NEWS
April 16, 1987
A man facing trial on drug charges who reportedly wanted to kill a witness against him smuggled a bomb into a courthouse in Kokomo, Ind., and then set it off, declaring: "We might as well all go now." The suspect, Robert Gray, was killed in the blast Tuesday and 15 people were injured. Gray's attorney, Charles Scruggs, said his client set off the bomb after being confronted over reports about a possible attempt on the witness's life.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 22, 1994 | LISA O'NEILL
Pasadena police were wondering Thursday why the kidnapers of a 26-year-old man, the son of a prominent local family, freed him without picking up the $800,000 ransom. Lawrence Gray Jr., float chairman for the Tournament of Roses Parade, took the money in a duffel bag to a Highland Park meeting spot on Tuesday in an attempt to ransom his son, Robert, who had been kidnaped that morning. But Robert Gray had been released unharmed in South-Central Los Angeles.
BUSINESS
June 5, 1986
Under the definitive merger agreement, shareholders of Gray & Co. Public Communications International will get about $8.75 in stock of JWT Group Inc., parent of Hill & Knowlton, for each Gray share. Gray shareholders will vote in August on the merger, which will be accomplished on a pooling-of-interests basis. The proposed merger marks the return to Hill & Knowlton of Robert Gray, chairman and chief executive of Gray & Co.
BUSINESS
July 19, 1998 | Leslie Earnest
St. John Knits Inc., maker of upscale women's clothing, said Thursday that its board has approved a one-year extension of the company's employment agreement with Chief Executive Robert Gray. Earlier, Gray had hinted that he would pass the chief executive's title to daughter Kelly Gray this year. Kelly, 31, is the company's president.
BUSINESS
January 22, 1999 | John O'Dell
Robert Gray, founder of St. John Knits Inc., has extended for the third time a $490-million cash tender offer to acquire the 86% stake in the company his family does not already own. The new deadline is Feb. 1, the Irvine-based maker of upscale women's clothing said Thursday. Gray, St. John's chairman and chief executive officer, has made the $28-per-share offer with other members of his family and Vestar Capital Partners. The offer, originally made Dec.
BUSINESS
February 25, 1999 | Leslie Earnest
One of St. John Knits Inc.'s largest outside shareholders has filed a lawsuit contending a bid by the founding Gray family to buy the company is too low. The legal challenge was filed Tuesday in Orange County Superior Court by the San Francisco-based Parnassus Fund, which owns 325,000 shares, or 2%, of the stock in the upscale women's clothing company. It is the latest in a string of lawsuits that have been filed against Irvine-based St. John since December when Chief Executive Robert E.
BUSINESS
February 4, 1999 | LESLIE EARNEST, TIMES STAFF WRITER
St. John Knits Inc. said Wednesday it has accepted a sweetened offer from the founding Gray family to buy the maker of upscale women's clothing and take the firm private. The Irvine company's board accepted a bid from Chief Executive Robert E. Gray, his family and Vestar Capital Partners to acquire the bulk of the company for $30 a share, or $522 million. In December, the Grays had offered $28 a share.
BUSINESS
February 2, 1999 | Leslie Earnest
St. John Knits Inc. said the company's founders have extended by another day the deadline for their bid to buy the upscale clothier. The extension through today is the fourth since Chief Executive Robert E. Gray, his family and Vestar Capital Partners offered in December to buy the company's shares not already owned by the Grays for $28 a share, or $490 million. The Irvine company created an independent committee to evaluate the offer, which some investors and analysts have said is too low.
BUSINESS
January 22, 1999 | John O'Dell
Robert Gray, founder of St. John Knits Inc., has extended for the third time a $490-million cash tender offer to acquire the 86% stake in the company his family does not already own. The new deadline is Feb. 1, the Irvine-based maker of upscale women's clothing said Thursday. Gray, St. John's chairman and chief executive officer, has made the $28-per-share offer with other members of his family and Vestar Capital Partners. The offer, originally made Dec.
BUSINESS
January 15, 1999
St. John Knits Inc. said late Thursday that an investor group led by chairman and co-founder Robert Gray has for the second time extended a deadline for the company to accept its $28-a-share, $490-million offer to acquire the upscale women's apparel maker and take it private. The announcement gave no reason for the extension, and company officials couldn't be reached for comment. The group, which includes Vestar Capital Partners, said the new deadline on its offer will expire next Friday.
BUSINESS
December 9, 1998 | LESLIE EARNEST, TIMES STAFF WRITER
St. John Knits Inc.'s founders, saying they're tired of trying to satisfy Wall Street's insatiable demand for rapid growth, announced plans Tuesday to buy all the shares of the upscale clothing maker and take it private. "We wanted to slow the growth down, and Wall Street doesn't like slow growth," Chief Executive Robert E. Gray said Tuesday. "We feel the best way to do that is by being private."
BUSINESS
January 15, 1999
St. John Knits Inc. said late Thursday that an investor group led by chairman and co-founder Robert Gray has for the second time extended a deadline for the company to accept its $28-a-share, $490-million offer to acquire the upscale women's apparel maker and take it private. The announcement gave no reason for the extension, and company officials couldn't be reached for comment. The group, which includes Vestar Capital Partners, said the new deadline on its offer will expire next Friday.
BUSINESS
February 2, 1999 | Leslie Earnest
St. John Knits Inc. said the company's founders have extended by another day the deadline for their bid to buy the upscale clothier. The extension through today is the fourth since Chief Executive Robert E. Gray, his family and Vestar Capital Partners offered in December to buy the company's shares not already owned by the Grays for $28 a share, or $490 million. The Irvine company created an independent committee to evaluate the offer, which some investors and analysts have said is too low.
BUSINESS
July 19, 1998 | Leslie Earnest
St. John Knits Inc., maker of upscale women's clothing, said Thursday that its board has approved a one-year extension of the company's employment agreement with Chief Executive Robert Gray. Earlier, Gray had hinted that he would pass the chief executive's title to daughter Kelly Gray this year. Kelly, 31, is the company's president.
BUSINESS
April 23, 1996
St. John Knits Inc. said Monday that Kelly Gray has replaced President Robert C. Davis, who resigned to pursue other interests. Gray, daughter of St. John founder and Chairman Robert Gray, has been serving as executive vice president and creative director, as well as a member of the company's corporate board. Gray has also been handling design responsibilities for the St. John and Griffith & Gray product lines of women's clothing and accessories.
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