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Catamaran acquires Salveo Specialty Pharmacy

BY Michael Johnsen

SCHAUMBURG, Ill. — Catamaran, a provider of technology and pharmacy benefit management services, on Wednesday announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Salveo Specialty Pharmacy, an independent specialty pharmacy company headquartered in St. Petersburg, Fla., with business operations in New York (Echo Salveo Specialty Pharmacy) and California (Mission Road Pharmacy). 
 
Salveo manages approximately $400 million in annual drug spend. The purchase price of $260 million in cash (subject to certain customary post-closing adjustments) represents a purchase price multiple of approximately 13x Salveo’s trailing 12-month EBITDA and is expected to be funded through cash on the balance sheet.
 
“We are thrilled to welcome Salveo and its employees to the Catamaran team,” said Mark Thierer, chairman and CEO of Catamaran. "Salveo’s successful commercial strategy, geographic footprint and diverse therapy mix are highly complementary to our BriovaRx specialty strategy. This transaction affirms our commitment to investing in our specialty capabilities and the combination of BriovaRx and Salveo strongly positions Catamaran as one of the largest specialty pharmacies with a truly unique service offering.”
 
“Salveo has emerged as a strong specialty provider by focusing on the individual patients we serve," said Jeff Freedman, Salveo CEO. "Together, we view Salveo and BriovaRx as a hand in glove fit, given our complementary values and strong commercial momentum in both organizations.”
 
The acquisition is sexpected to be completed during the fourth quarter of 2014.
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USA Drug founder Stephen LaFrance Sr. to enter Arkansas Business Hall of Fame

BY Michael Johnsen

 

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — USA Drug founder Stephen LaFrance Sr. on Thursday was posthumously nominated into the Arkansas Business Hall of Fame by the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas and the Arkansas Business Hall of Fame Board. 
 
From a single drug store, LaFrance built a chain of retail drug stores headquartered in Pine Bluff covering nine states and more than 150 locations with more than $750 million in annual sales; a wholly owned wholesale drug distribution operation regularly serving more than 1,200 customers in 14 states in addition to USA Drug’s own retail drug stores; a real estate portfolio with strategically located retail properties; and an Arkansas organization supporting more than 3,500 employees and their families.
 
"During his lifetime, LaFrance preferred his philanthropic efforts to be anonymous. The Salvation Army, the Susan G. Komen Foundation, the Arkansas Children’s Hospital and work on diabetes at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences were just some of the projects that enjoyed his support," the Arkansas Business Hall of Fame Board noted.
 
LaFrance, along with three other Arkansas business leaders, will be inducted on Feb. 13, the board reported. 
 
“We are pleased to welcome another distinguished group of business leaders to the Arkansas Business Hall of Fame,” stated Dean Eli Jones, dean Walton College. “They join an exceptional list of inductees who have been recognized among the best in Arkansas business. The outstanding achievements of these four, just as all of the hall of fame’s current members, will have an impact on the future business leaders in Arkansas and around the world.”
 
The Arkansas Business Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be held at the Statehouse Convention Center in Little Rock. The Arkansas Business Hall of Fame is permanently housed in the atrium of the Donald W. Reynolds Center for Enterprise Development at the Walton College on the University of Arkansas campus in Fayetteville.
 
Greg Lee, a Walton College alumnus and the retired chief administrative officer and international president of Tyson Foods, chaired the selection process. A nominating committee of 18 business leaders encouraged people throughout the state and beyond to make nominations. A selection committee of nine business and community leaders reviewed the nominations and chose the inductees. Criteria for selection included: the significance of the impact made as a business leader, the concern demonstrated for improving the community and the display of ethics in all business dealings. In addition, living inductees must be over the age of 60.
 
A list of previous inductees into the Arkansas Business Hall of Fame is available at WaltonCollege.uark.edu/abhf.
 

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Fred’s Super Dollar posts sales gains of 3.3% for September

BY Michael Johnsen

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Fred's Super Dollar on Wednesday reported sales of $183.6 million for the five weeks ended Oct. 4, representing an increase of 3.3% as compared with the year-ago period. Comparable store sales for the month increased 0.2% on top of an increase of 2.8% in the same period last year.
 
Fred's total sales for the year-to-date period increased 1.5% to $1.3 billion. On a comparable store basis, year-to-date sales decreased 0.5% versus an increase of 0.8% for the year-earlier period.
 
"Our September comparable store sales continued the positive trend we have experienced in recent months in spite of the strong sales performance posted in the same month last year," stated Bruce Efird, Fred's CEO. "Our initiatives to emphasize our convenience-center model continue to gain traction throughout the business. Driving customer traffic remains a challenge in our markets, but the implementation of these initiatives is clearly beginning to produce positive results," he said. "General merchandise inventory has been significantly lowered and our clearance programs to address unproductive inventory, once again, exceeded the sales plan for September."
 
Pharmacy was another highlight for the month, Efird added, with increases in both comparable prescriptions filled and sales. "We are very excited to have our new pharmacy prime vendor agreement in place, which will not only accelerate gross margin improvement in the pharmacy department, but will also support our pharmacy expansion initiatives," he said. 
 
During the month, Fred’s closed five full service stores and one Xpress location. Fred's operates 701 discount general merchandise stores, including 21 franchised Fred's stores, in the southeastern United States. 
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