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DSNTV: Bruce Montgomery of Fleet Labs talks brand evolution

BY DSN STAFF

Healthcare company Fleet Labs — which has a foothold in infant care, digestive and feminine care — understands the importance of delivering desired benefits to consumers and keeping its finger on the pulse of innovative technologies. For the latest edition of the DSNTV Executive Viewpoint series, Bruce Montgomery, VP North American and South American sales, shared with Drug Store News how the company has evolved in recent years and is working on a continuum of brand awareness, to brand preference and, ultimately, to brand insistence.

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Walgreens debuts approximately $2 billion in bonds in Europe to help fund Alliance Boots transaction

BY Michael Johnsen

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Pursuant to its $8 billion bond offering in the U.S. on Friday, Walgreens Boots Alliance — a wholly owned subsidiary of Walgreens — will be debuting $1.1 billion in six- and 11-year notes and $932 million in 12-year notes on the European exchange. 
 
Like the $8 billion bond offering, Walgreens Boots Alliance will use the proceeds to fund a portion of the cash consideration of approximately $5 billion in cash and to refinance substantially all of Alliance Boots' existing borrowings. 
 
Specifically, Walgreens Boots Alliance will offer 400 million British pounds of 2.875% notes due 2020; 300 million British pounds of 3.6% notes due 2025; ajnd 750 million Euros of 2.125% notes due 2026.
 
The sale of the notes is expected to close on Nov. 20, 2014, subject to customary closing conditions. The joint book-running managers for the offering are: Goldman, Sachs, Deutsche Bank, London Branch, Merrill Lynch International, HSBC Bank, J.P. Morgan Securities, Morgan Stanley & Co. International and Wells Fargo Securities.
 
Subject to shareholder approval, it is expected that immediately prior to the completion of the second step of the Alliance Boots transaction, Walgreens will be reorganized into a holding company structure and will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Walgreens Boots Alliance.
 
Following the completion of the second step of the Alliance Boots transaction, a portion of the net proceeds from the sale of the notes may also be used to satisfy existing debt, including the repayment of $750 million principal amount of Walgreens 1% Notes due March 13, 2015.
 
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In recognition of veterans, Kroger has donated more than $3.3 million to USO in 2014

BY Michael Johnsen

CINCINNATI — Kroger on Monday announced a total contribution to the USO of more than $3.3 million for 2014.
 
The funds were raised through the company's Honoring Our Heroes sales event in May and customer contributions collected at check stands through the summer and fall. 
 
Since 2010, the Kroger family of stores, in partnership with customers, associates and vendors, has donated a total of $11.8 million to help support the military and their families — the largest cumulative gift to the USO in that organization's history, Kroger reported.  
 
"The USO connects with our service men and women every step of the way, and Kroger is proud to honor our troops and veterans by supporting them," said Lynn Marmer, Kroger's group VP corporate affairs. "We are humbled by the generosity our customers have shown through their participation in Kroger's Honoring Our Heroes campaign; and we thank our associates in the military for their service to our country, our communities, and our company."
 
Kroger has set aside $100,000 of the donations for customers to decide which of the USO's programs will receive additional support. Customers can visit www.HonoringOurHeroes.com and click "You Choose Kroger Gives" to select from one of the four options and Kroger will donate $1 to the selected program.
 
Kroger also recognizes company employees and their families who are active and former military members on HonoringOurHeroes.com, where customers can read their stories, learn how to volunteer with the USO or make an individual donation.
 
Kroger remains committed to hiring veterans. Since 2009, more than 22,000 veterans have joined the company.
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