PHARMACY

J&J announces it’s all clear for Mentor Corp. tender offer

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. Johnson & Johnson on Thursday announced that all applicable foreign antitrust and similar regulatory clearances required for its cash tender offer to purchase Mentor Corp. were either obtained, or the relevant waiting periods for clearance have expired.

Johnson & Johnson, through its wholly owned subsidiary, Maple Merger Sub, initiated the tender offer Dec. 1. The tender offer will expire at 5 p.m. on Jan. 16, 2009, unless extended.

Upon the successful closing of the tender offer, shareholders of Mentor will receive $31 in cash for each share of Mentor common stock tendered in the tender offer, without interest and less any required withholding taxes. Following the completion of the acquisition, it is expected that Mentor will operate as a stand-alone business unit reporting through Ethicon, a Johnson & Johnson company.

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MTI launches Rite Aid Radio

BY Michael Johnsen

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. Music Technologies International on Tuesday announced that it’s “Rite Aid Radio,” a music and messaging program designed exclusively for Rite Aid, is now available chainwide.

“We relished the opportunity to start from scratch with Rite Aid in creating a music environment that is much more ‘tune’ with their customers,” said Bradley Golden, president of MTI. “We feel that we have helped to create an even more inviting audio ambiance in the stores.”

MTI built the music library song by song to appeal to Rite Aid’s customers, the company stated, and also allows Rite Aid to broadcast messages to speak directly to its customers.

This partnership is actually the resumption of a relationship from the 1990’s when MTI provided a similar program to Rite Aid.

“Our number one priority is keeping our customers happy,” said Jerry Cardinale, Rite Aid senior vice president of indirect procurement. “We feel that MTI’s music and messaging program helps us achieve this goal. MTI shares our philosophy of absolute dedication to customer service.”

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Duane Reade announces $3.5 million settlement for Q4 2008

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK Duane Reade, without admitting liability, has announced a $3.5 million litigation settlement that will result in a $3.5 million one-time, pre-tax charge for the fourth quarter.

The two class action cases concern the retailer’s alleged past payment practices for certain overtime and employee non-exempt classifications.

The settlement is subject to the approval of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. The company stated that while it believes it can “strongly defend against the matters involved in this litigation” it has decided to settle to avoid additional defense costs and uncertainty surrounding the litigation.

The retailer, which operates 251 stores, is expected to announce its fourth quarter and fiscal year 2008 results in March.

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