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New England Compounding Center files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection

BY Jason Owen

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. — New England Compounding Center announced the company has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. The filing seeks to establish a fund to compensate individuals and families affected by a nationwide meningitis outbreak. In papers filed with the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Massachusetts, the company said its goal is to provide a greater, quicker, fairer payout to its creditors than could be achieved through piecemeal litigation.

In conjunction with the announcement, the company appointed Keith D. Lowey, a Principal in the Financial Consulting firm Verdolino & Lowey, as Independent Director of NECC and as the company’s Chief Restructuring Officer.

“This will be a cooperative effort,” said Mr. Lowey, who is responsible for NECC’s establishment of the Compensation Fund and dispersing payments to the affected parties. “We want to establish a substantial fund, and then distribute it fairly and efficiently to those who are entitled to relief.”

The NECC seeks to forge a consensual, comprehensive resolution of claims that will be funded by agreements reached among the claimants, the company, its insurers and other parties with potential liability for the meningitis cases, Lowey said. All such claims will be addressed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

“Many families across the U.S. have been impacted by this great tragedy, and it is difficult to comprehend the sense of loss so many people have experienced. Everyone associated with New England Compounding Center shares that sense of loss,” Lowey said. “We recognize the need to compensate those affected by the meningitis outbreak fairly and appropriately. We hope that by establishing this Fund under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, those families impacted by this tragedy may be compensated as quickly as is possible.”

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Rite Aid shares trading some 40% higher in week following 3Q conference call

BY Michael Johnsen

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Rite Aid’s fundamentals are improving, and Wall Street has taken notice. 

Rite Aid stock was up slightly by three cents late Thursday afternoon from its previous close of $1.41 per share. But shares were trading at $1.02 per share on Dec. 19, the day before Rite Aid announced third quarter results. 

As DSN reported last week, Rite Aid squarely beat analyst expectations, as the generic wave and retention of Express Scripts customers helped drive better-than-expected adjusted EBIDTA and produced the company’s first profitable quarter in five years.

The company posted a profit of $61.9 million compared with third-quarter 2012’s loss of $52 million. The chain’s last profitable quarter was first quarter 2008, reported in June 2007.

A big driver behind Rite Aid’s improvement can be linked to the chain’s Wellness+ loyalty card program, which had approximately 25 million active members in the quarter, a 5% increase over the same period a year ago. It was the Wellness+ loyalty program that Rite Aid executives credited for being able to retain the "vast majority" of patients gained through the Walgreens-ESI dispute. According to the company, prescriptions filled at stores open at least a year had gained by 3.6%.

 

 

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Rite Aid Foundation to donate $15K in food to 1199SEIU Child Care Corp.

BY Antoinette Alexander

CAMP HILL, Pa. — The Rite Aid Foundation has announced that it is making a donation of food items valued at $15,000 to the 1199SEIU Child Care Corp.

Items including pasta, soup, sauces, instant coffee, tea and other non-perishable food items will be delivered to the union’s warehouse in North Bergen, N.J., where they will then be distributed to member families affected by Hurricane Sandy. Rite Aid and 1199SEIU officials will receive the delivery at the warehouse on Dec. 28. 
 


“For the past two months, the people and communities affected by Hurricane Sandy have been focused on rebuilding. We know there is still much to be done and that’s why The Rite Aid Foundation is proud to make this donation to the 1199SEIU Child Care Corporation as it continues to provide much-needed relief to its members, including many of our associates, in their time of need," stated Ken Martindale, Rite Aid COO and president of The Rite Aid Foundation.
 

The 1199SEIU Child Care Corp. helps unionized healthcare workers represented by 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East balance family and work responsibilities through affordable child care, youth and educational programs. More than 6,000 Rite Aid associates at 335 stores in New Jersey and New York are represented by 1199SEIU.
 


In October, The Rite Foundation donated $100,000 to the American Red Cross for Hurricane Sandy relief efforts, along with several truckloads of water, personal care and cleaning supplies to the most affected areas.  Last month, The Rite Aid Foundation also pledged an additional $50,000 to both the Empire State Relief Fund and the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund to support the rebuilding efforts of the communities affected by the storm. 
 


The Rite Aid Foundation, founded in July 2001, is a not-for-profit foundation dedicated to helping people in the communities Rite Aid serves. Since its inception, The Rite Aid Foundation has awarded grants totaling more than $14.3 million to approximately 1,250 organizations in 629 communities.

 

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