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Dollar General outbids Dollar Tree for Family Dollar

BY Mike Troy

Goodlettsville, Tenn. — Dollar General bid $78.50 for Family Dollar in a $9.7 billion deal that exceeds the $74.50 a share Dollar Tree offered for Family Dollar on July 28.

The deal would create a small-format powerhouse with nearly 20,000 stores in 46 states and sales of more than $28 billion.

“For Family Dollar shareholders, our proposal is financially superior to the current transaction agreement with Dollar Tree and would provide Family Dollar shareholders with a substantial premium and immediate liquidity for their shares,” said Rick Dreiling, Dollar General’s chairman and CEO. “We look forward to expeditiously entering into constructive discussions with Family Dollar in order to sign a definitive merger agreement that provides enhanced value to Family Dollar shareholders and enables Dollar General to realize the benefits of this combination.”

The $78.50 per share Dollar General offer represents a 29.4% premium over the $60.66 closing price of Family Dollar shares the day before Dollar Tree made its offer. The deal Dollar Tree offered Family Dollar is valued at about $8.5 billion and involves Family Dollar shareholders receiving $59.60 in cash and $14.90 in equivalent Dollar Tree shares. The offer has already been unanimously approved by the boards of both companies.

To get the deal done, Dollar General said it had done significant economic and antitrust analysis and was prepared to commit to divesting as many as 700 stores. The company also committed to paying the $305 million termination fee Family Dollar will owe Dollar Tree if the previously announced deal falls through. In addition, Dollar General CEO Dreiling said he would remain in his current role to oversee integration of the companies after previously indicating he would retire in 2015.

Dollar General and Family Dollar operate complementary business — similar size stores with similar product assortments — which is expected to result in operational synergies and annual savings of between $550 million and $600 million three years after the proposed merger is complete, according to Dollar General.

“Dollar General has developed extensive integration plans across work streams. The expected synergies would be derived from sales growth driven by an improved merchandise offering and store presentation, purchasing and sourcing efficiencies, distribution and transportation optimization and administrative savings,” according to the company.

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New survey from CVS/pharmacy sheds light on flu prevention

BY Ryan Chavis

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — Three-in-five U.S. adults are not aware of the importance of the high-dose flu vaccine in flu prevention for adults ages 65 years and older, according to a new survey from CVS/pharmacy. The high-dose vaccine contains four times the antigens as the regular flu vaccine and is meant to create a stronger immune response for seniors who are more sucesptible to developing severe illnesses related to the flu.

Additionally, the survey revealed the following:

  • 67% of employed Americans would go to work even if they were feeling sick with flu-like symptoms;
  • 44% of individuals who receive a flu vaccine each year get it administered at a primary care physician's office; and
  • 59% report that they plan to get a flu shot this year.

"Getting an annual flu shot is the best way to help prevent the spread of influenza, especially for seniors who are more susceptible to developing complications from the flu," said Papatya Tankut, RPh, VP of pharmacy affairs at CVS Caremark. "The results of our consumer survey indicate the need for greater awareness among all Americans to understand the benefits of getting vaccinated and assisting older loved ones in making the decision, as well."

All CVS/pharmacy and MinuteClinic locations have begun to offer vaccinations. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone who is at least 6 months of age get a flu shot as soon as the vaccine becomes available.

 

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CDC committee recommends Pfizer pneumonia vaccine for seniors

BY David Salazar

New York — Pfizer’s Prevnar 13 vaccine for pneumonia has been recommended for use by patients 65 years old and up by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s immunization practices advisory committee. Prevnar 13 is a PCV13 immunization, meaning it protects against 13 variations of the pneumococcal disease.

“Immunization with Prevnar 13 can play an important role in helping to reduce the incidence and burden of vaccine-type pneumococcal community-acquired pneumonia and invasive pneumococcal disease among adults 65 years of age or older,” Luis Jodar, Global Medicines Development Group and Scientific Affairs’ VP vaccines said. “This additional ACIP meeting recognizes the importance of implementing an adult recommendation for Prevnar 13 in advance of the U.S. influenza season, the time of year when this population is most likely to be considering vaccination.”

The committee recommends that the vaccine be given to people ages 65 years and older who have never been vaccinated against pneumonia, and those who have previously received the other common pneumonia vaccine, PPSV23 (known as Pneumovax 23, which Merck distributes). Additionally, it advises that those who receive a Prevnar vaccine should also be given a PPSV23 vaccine.

The recommendations have the potential to alleviate the $5 billion that a 2011 study found pneumonia to cost, either directly or indirectly.

“As healthcare professionals in the United States begin to implement this new ACIP recommendation, we believe that Prevnar 13 can now help prevent vaccine-type pneumococcal pneumonia in older adults and has the potential to provide an important public health benefit.” Pfizer vaccines president Susan Silbermann said. "Pfizer remains committed to working with the healthcare and public health communities to raise awareness of the importance of adult immunization among consumers.”

The recommendations are now awaiting approval by the Department of Health and Human Services, and the head of the CDC.

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