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FTC clears Amazon’s Whole Foods acquisition

BY Marianne Wilson

The biggest retail deal of 2017 has just been cleared by the Federal Trade Commission.

On Wednesday morning, shareholders of Whole Foods Market voted to approve the natural grocer's $13.7 billion acquisition by Amazon. In the late afternoon, the FTC gave the green light to the deal.

In a statement, the FTC said it had reviewed whether the deal would substantially lessen competition or constituted an unfair method of competition and had opted not to pursue its investigation further. In closing its antitrust review, the FTC noted it "always has the ability to investigate anticompetitive conduct should such action be warranted."

The deal is now expected to be finalized by the end of 2017.

"Amazon is the ultimate disruptor in retail, but for a long time it has only been on the periphery for the food retailers," commented Molly Johnson-Jones, senior analyst at GlobalData. “The shareholder vote today consolidates the threat of Amazon repeating the damage on the grocery market it has ravaged on mainstream supermarket territory. Amazon’s vision of being a one-stop-shop for all of a consumer’s needs is one step closer to being a reality.”

While there were some vocal critics of the deal, saying it would, among other things, lead to job losses, antitrust experts had said the deal likely would win government approval because Amazon sells few groceries and Whole Foods makes up a small fraction of grocery sales, according to Reuters.

Amazon announced its intention to purchase Whole Foods in an all cash transaction valued at $13.7 billion, or $42 a share, in June. 

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Target names new head of strategy, innovation

BY Marianne Wilson

MINNEAPOLIS — Target has tapped a McKinsey veteran to head up its innovation efforts.

The retailer appointed Minsok Pak as EVP, chief strategy and innovation officer. He replaces Casey Carl, who left the company in May.

Pak, who will join the retailer on Sept. 11, will be responsible for Target’s enterprise strategy development and retail innovation with the goal of enhancing the shopper experience and accelerating growth. He will also oversee business development, including mergers, acquisitions, partnerships and joint venture initiatives.

Pak most recently served as senior VP, Lego Retail at The Lego Group. He was responsible for leading Lego's branded retail channel, including more than 250 stores and e-commerce sites across 24 markets.

Prior to Lego, Pak spent two decades with McKinsey, where he held various leadership roles and worked with leading global retail and consumer companies. Additionally, Pak led McKinsey’s digital transformation group. Pak also served (on temporary transfer from McKinsey) as the global EVP and chief strategy officer at LG Electronics.

"Minsok brings deep business acumen and proven leadership capabilities to Target," stated Target CEO Brian Cornell. "Throughout his career, he has counseled numerous companies and led through significant times of change. He brings strategic vision, an innovative spirit and an ability to address complex business challenges by capturing near-term opportunities and charting a course for the future,” said Cornell. “As we build an even better Target for tomorrow, we must plan purposefully to drive growth and continue instilling innovation in every part of our business. I am confident Minsok is the right leader to fill this critical role.”

Pak will report to Cornell, and serve as a member of Target’s Leadership Team.

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Dougherty’s Pharmacy names proven litigator to board

BY Michael Johnsen

DALLAS — Dougherty’s Pharmacy on Friday named Troy Phillips to its board of directors.

“Troy brings a unique skill set that we believe will be a tremendous addition to our board of directors,” stated James Leslie, chairman Dougherty's Pharmacy. “We believe his experience as a practicing attorney will be very beneficial to the company as he brings with him a vast array of knowledge and expertise.”

Phillips has been the chairman of the board and CEO of Glast, Phillips & Murray, a law firm, since 1992. An attorney for more than 43 years, Phillips specializes in business litigation matters and has extensive experience in corporate reorganizations. He is a member of the College of the State Bar of Texas and is an occasional speaker at legal and professional seminars. 

Phillips earned his bachelor’s degree from North Texas State University and his law degree from the University of Texas at Austin.

Dougherty’s Pharmacy is a retail pharmacy chain focused on successfully acquiring, managing and growing community-based pharmacies in the Southwest Region of the United States. On June 9, 2017, the company changed its name from Ascendant Solutions to Dougherty’s Pharmacy to better reflect the corporate vision and operating structure.

 

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