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Walgreens Boots Alliance, Rite Aid extend end date of merger agreement

BY Michael Johnsen

DEERFIELD, Ill.  – Walgreens Boots Alliance and Rite Aid Thursday morning announced that, in accordance with the terms of their merger agreement dated Oct. 27, 2015, they have mutually agreed to extend the end date of their merger agreement from Oct. 27, 2016 to Jan. 27, 2017.

The companies now expect the transaction will close in early calendar 2017.

"As announced on Sept. 8, 2016, Walgreens Boots Alliance remains actively engaged with the Federal Trade Commission regarding its review of the pending acquisition, and continues to expect that the most likely outcome will be that the parties will be required to divest between 500 and 1,000 stores," Walgreens stated. "The company believes that it will be able to execute agreements to divest these stores to potential buyers, pending FTC approval, by the end of calendar year 2016, and now expects its acquisition of Rite Aid will close in early calendar 2017."

Accordingly, Walgreens expressed its confidence in the deal by including projected Rite Aid synergies in its fiscal 2017 guidance, updated this morning with the release of the company's year-end fiscal 2016 results.

Taking into account its current expectation of store divestitures, Walgreens Boots Alliance continues to expect that the acquisition will be accretive to its adjusted diluted net earnings per share in the first full year after closing of the transaction. The company also continues to expect that it will realize synergies from the acquisition in excess of $1 billion, to be fully realized within three to four years of closing.

On Oct. 27, 2015, the companies entered into a definitive agreement under which Walgreens Boots Alliance agreed to acquire all outstanding shares of Rite Aid for $9 per share in cash. Under the terms of the merger agreement, either party had the right to extend the end date from Oct. 27, 2016 to Jan. 27, 2017 by delivery of notice to the other.

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Former Walmart and Sam’s Club exec Ron Loveless dies

BY Gina Acosta

Ron Loveless, the first CEO of Sam's Club who grew the retailer for several years before retiring in 1986, has died.

According to the Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette, Loveless died Monday at the age of 73 after "a long battle with cancer," according to a memo from Walmart CEO Doug McMillon and Sam's Club CEO Rosalind Brewer sent to Sam's Club employees.

"Due in great part to his innovative nature, Ron rose through the ranks as Walmart grew," McMillon and Brewer wrote, calling Loveless "one of the great leaders in our history."

In his 2011 book, “Walmart Inside Out: From Stockboy to Stockholder,” Loveless talked about his humble upbringing, as well as how he started out in Walmart stores and about the company's culture. 

Read more about Loveless by clicking here.

 

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Tom Thumb, Albertsons introduce Fort Worth-area grocery delivery

BY David Salazar
FORT WORTH, Texas  — Albertsons and banner Tom Thumb on Wednesday announced a new grocery delivery program in the Dallas-Fort Worth area that will see a fleet of home delivery trucks hitting the streets in the area. The grocery delivery service will be available to Tom Thumb and Albertsons customers at tomthumb.com and through the Tom Thumb Android and iOS delivery app. 
 
“Fast, easy, and convenient is what consumers want, and providing home delivery is our answer,” Albertsons southern division president Dennis Bassler said. “We are delighted to bring this service to our customers in North Texas.”
 
The fleet of delivery trucks is made up of new trucks with multiple temperature zones to keep frozen items frozen and vegetables crisp. To celebrate the launch, customers will receive free delivery and $10 off their first delivery order. The service offers one-hour delivery windows and a shop-by-history feature that save previously bought items for easy reordering. 
 
“We've made online shopping extremely efficient,” Bassler said. “The process is simple. Customers order online and select a delivery date and time. Our personal shoppers select the items and carefully load them into the refrigerated trucks for delivery.”
 

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