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Bayer to sell Diabetes Care unit to Panasonic Healthcare

BY David Salazar

LEVERKUSEN, Germany — Bayer announced Wednesday that it would be selling its Diabetes Care business to Tokyo-based Panasonic Healthcare. The $1.1 billion deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2016 and will include Bayer’s Contour line of blood glucose monitors and test strips, as well as lancing devices like Microlet and Elite. 
 
"For more than 20 years, our companies have shared complementary goals,” Panasonic Healthcare president Kenji Yamane said. “We anticipate that this partnership will take our two great businesses to new heights, and we wholly welcome the BDC team as full partners to Panasonic Healthcare.”
 
Bayer’s Switzerland- and U.S.-based Diabetes Care unit brought in a little over $1 billion in 2014 sales with its Contour blood glucose monitor and test strip line leading its portfolio.
 
“We are confident that the sale of our Diabetes Care business to our long-standing partner Panasonic Healthcare … will support the long-term sustainability of this portfolio," Bayer HealthCare CEO Werner Baumann said.
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Target doubles share buyback authorization

BY Dan Berthiaume

MINNEAPOLIS — Target Corp. is doubling the amount of its share buyback authorization from $5 billion to $10 billion. Under this authorization, through first quarter 2015, the company had invested a total of $3.7 billion to retire 56.9 million shares at an average price of $65.06 per share.
 
Target said this plan represents a continued focus on returning cash to shareholders. The retailer follows a plan of investing in the core business through projects that support strategic and financial goals, supporting the dividend and returning cash to shareholders.
 
“Today’s announcements reinforce Target’s long history of thoughtfully returning cash to shareholders through dividends and share repurchase,” said John Mulligan, Target’s executive VP and CFO.
 
Target also declared a quarterly dividend of 56 cents per common share, a 7.7% increase from the prior quarterly dividend of 52 cents.  The dividend is payable Sept. 10, 2015, to shareholders of record at the close of business Aug. 19, 2015.
 
Target posted an announcement of the share buyback and quarterly dividend on its website by mistake on the afternoon of June 9, ahead of its shareholders meeting, but quickly removed the posting and then officially released it later that night after the meeting concluded.
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Raley’s Supermarkets seeks personalization for shoppers

BY Gina Acosta

WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California-based regional grocery chain Raley’s Supermarkets is overhauling its e-commerce capabilities to offer customers a "seamless shopping experience."
 
The retailer announced it will be using technology from Unata to deliver functionality including one-to-one experiences across all e-commerce elements from homepage to search.
 
“We are focused on creating a personalized shopping experience for our customers,” said Chelsea Minor, Raley’s spokeswoman. “New digital opportunities allow Raley’s to better serve our customers in store and at home. Unata is a leader in omnichannel digital personalization within the grocery space, and we can’t wait to offer an advanced customer experience through their platform.”
 
In addition, product updates will enhance the click and collect functionality, which allows Raley’s customers to pick up items they ordered online in-store.  
 
“We are thrilled to announce this partnership with Raley’s, a grocer with a long-standing customer-centric reputation since their inception in 1935,” Unata CEO Chris Bryson said. “With the implementation of Unata's platform, the new Raley’s digital experience will be focused on meeting the needs of the rapidly evolving modern shopper, engaging them with a holistic omni-channel experience that spans the entire shopping journey – both at home and in-store."
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