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Uniprix shareholders approve proposed acquisition by McKesson Canada

BY Michael Johnsen

MONTREAL — A total of 95% of Uniprix Group's shareholders on Tuesday approved McKesson Canada's previously announced bid to acquire all outstanding shares of Uniprix, the Group reported Tuesday.

"We are pleased that our members believe in this acquisition as well as our commitment to protect the autonomy of independent pharmacy owners," stated Philippe Duval, president and CEO, Uniprix. "We have a long history of working with McKesson Canada and this transaction provides a platform to support a bright future for Uniprix's independent pharmacy owners to deliver quality care to patients across Quebec."

The acquisition remains subject to closing conditions and regulatory approvals, including the approval by the Superior Court of Quebec and the Competition Bureau of Canada.

 

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Kroger announces 31-year vet’s retirement, promotes 2 of its own

BY David Salazar

CINCINNATI — Kroger’s SVP retail divisions is retiring. The company on Tuesday announced the retirement of 31-year Kroger veteran Sukanya Madlinger, effective June 19, and named current president of Kroger’s Louisville division Calvin Kaufman her successor. Additionally, the company appointed Ann Reed, currently VP Customer 1st Promise, Kaufman’s successor at the head of the Louisville division.

“Throughout her accomplished career, Sukanya has exemplified true leadership,” Kroger chairman and CEO Rodney McMullen, Kroger’s chairman and CEO. “Sukanya’s focus on developing future talent and fostering strong partnerships helped build a deep bench of leaders to sustain Kroger’s future growth. The entire Kroger family wishes her and her family the best in retirement.”

Madlinger joined Kroger in 1986 in its Cincinnati/Dayton division as a store management trainee. In 2003, she was named VP drug/general merchandise/pharmacy merchandising and procurement for the Kroger corporate office. She returned to the Cincinnati/Dayton division as VP merchandising in 2008, and was named president of the division in 2010. She was named SVP retail stores in 2015.

Her successor has been with Kroger since 1994, when he joined the Fred Meyer Logistics Group in Portland, Ore. He held various logistics roles there, including group VP Fred Meyer Logistics. He was named president of Kroger manufacturing and corporate brands in 2008 and appointed to his current position in 2013.

“Calvin is an unwavering advocate for improving the customer and associate experience in ways that will accelerate growth and create shareholder value,” McMullen said. “His passion for strengthening our corporate culture and clarifying our company purpose makes him a natural fit for our leadership team.”

Reed, who will take over as Louisville division president, started at Kroger’s central division in 1993, serving in various leadership positions in divisions and Kroger’s general office, including store manager, category manager, deli/bakery merchandiser, director of deli/bakery and director of fresh ready meals. She was named VP merchandising of Fry in 2010, and VP merchandising at Fred Meyer in 2013. She assumed her current position in 2015.

“Ann has shown tremendous leadership in driving our Customer 1st Promise and company purpose into our business strategy,” McMullen said. “Ann brings to our Louisville division team her dedication to and deep understanding of our customers, associates and communities.”

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NY Post: FTC not ready to approve Walgreens-Rite Aid deal

BY DSN STAFF

WASHINGTON — According to reports, regulators are still seeking information on the proposed merger between Walgreens Boots Alliance and Rite Aid, and the subsequent divestiture of as many as 1,200 stores to Fred's.

Analysts are suggesting the implication does not bode well for the merger, as the continued Civil Information Demands from the Federal Trade Commission may be indicative that the agency is still not appeased over the merger's potential effect on the retail pharmacy market.

In fact, it could be a sign the FTC is collecting data toward a possible lawsuit aimed at blocking the deal, sources told The New York Post. The filing of CIDs “is all consistent with bringing a case,” one person close to the matter told The Post. “It tells you the FTC is still very concerned about this deal.”

Both Rite Aid and Fred's stocks were trading lower on the day amid the latest merger twist, with Rite Aid trading at $3.83, down 6.8%, at midday and Fred's trading down 1.6% to $14.41. Shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance were also down slightly by 0.4% to $84.60.

 

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