Court rules in favor of Whole Foods/Wild Oats proposed merger; FTC’s injunction denied
AUSTIN, Texas Whole Foods Market and Wild Oats Markets Thursday announced that the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia has denied the Federal Trade Commission’s request for a preliminary injunction related to the proposed merger between the companies.
“The District Court’s ruling affirms our belief that a merger between Whole Foods and Wild Oats is a winning scenario for all stakeholders,” said John Mackey, chairman, chief executive officer and co-founder of Whole Foods Market. “We believe the synergies gained from this combination will create long term value for customers, vendors, and shareholders as well as exciting opportunities for team members.”
The FTC may choose to appeal the District Court’s ruling and may seek a stay from either the District Court or the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Whole Foods Market and Wild Oats Markets have agreed with the FTC to not close the merger prior to noon, Eastern time, on Monday, August 20, 2007. Absent a stay pending an FTC appeal, the companies may close the transaction at any point after that time.
“We are very pleased with the court’s ruling and always had confidence that, once presented with the facts, the judge would rule in favor of this merger,” said Gregory Mays, chairman and chief executive officer of Wild Oats Markets. “We continue to believe this merger is in the best interest of our stakeholders, as it will mean significant career opportunities for our store associates, capital investment in our stores to enhance the shopping experience for our customers, and value-creation for our shareholders. We look forward to closing the transaction.”
On June 7, 2007, the FTC filed a suit in the federal district court to block the proposed acquisition on antitrust grounds and seeking a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction pending a trial on the merits. Whole Foods Market and Wild Oats consented to a temporary restraining order pending a hearing on the preliminary injunction, which concluded on August 1, 2007.
Longs earnings increase 33 percent
Longs Drug reported a 33 percent increase in earnings of $25.7 million for its second quarter and completed its exit from three Western states. Same-store sales inched up 1 percent and revenue jumped 3 percent to $1.27 billion for the three-month period that ended July 26.
Pharmacy same-store sales increased 1.8 percent for the quarter with pharmacy benefit service revenues increasing 4.7 percent to $79 million. “In addition to RX America’s growth, we made strong progress in our retail segment by aligning and upgrading our store base, increasing our self-distribution of front-end merchandise, installing supply chain system technology and improving our operations,” said Longs CEO Warren Bryant.
During the quarter, Longs added eight new stores, remodeled 11 and closed 16. Those closings completed its exit from Washington, Oregon and Colorado where it had 23 stores. Longs said it had no long-term expansion plans for those states and left them to focus on core markets like California and Hawaii.
Duane Reade’s DR Walk-In signs affiliation agreement with Consumer Health Services
NEW YORK Duane Reade announced on Thursday that its walk-in medical centers, dubbed DR Walk-In Medical Care, have signed a deal with a major hospital and health care provider in the New York City area to help provide patients with integrated health care.
Duane Reade and clinic operator Consumer Health Services have signed a formal affiliation agreement with Continuum Health Partners to provide patients with integrated medical care with Continuum-affiliated New York hospitals.
Under the agreement, DR Walk-In Medical Care’s current four locations will be affiliated with Continuum’s St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center. DR Walk-In Medical Care’s signage and promotional materials will be updated to reflect the new alliance. Physicians at affiliated locations will have admitting privileges at the St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center. Additional walk-in sites in Manhattan and Brooklyn are planned and will be affiliated with Beth Israel Medical Center and Long Island College Hospital, also institutions in the Continuum network.
“The partnership with Continuum is an important milestone for CHS, DR Walk-In Medical Care sites and their rapidly growing base of patients,” stated James D’Orta, chairman of Consumer Health Services. “This affiliation will ensure that patients visiting the sites will be assured of immediate quality health care along with follow-up care with an established high quality health system for all of their medical needs.”
In May 2007, Duane Reade teamed up with CHS and Endres Bowers Medical Group to launch DR Walk-In Medical Care.