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Rite Aid announces financial initiatives

BY Michael Johnsen

CAMP HILL, Pa. Rite Aid on Monday announced a pair of initiatives concerning the company’s credit facilities.

First, the Camp Hill, Pa.-based druggist intends to offer a $650 million aggregate principal amount of senior secured notes due 2020. The notes will be unsecured, unsubordinated obligations of Rite Aid and will be guaranteed by substantially all of Rite Aid’s subsidiaries. The guarantees will be secured on a senior lien basis.

The proceeds of the offering will be used, together with available cash, to repay and retire Rite Aid’s $648 million Tranche 4 Term Loan due 2015 under its senior secured credit facility, and to fund related fees and expenses.

Rite Aid also announced its intention to amend or replace its $1.2 billion existing revolving credit facility due 2012 with a new $1.2 billion revolving credit facility due 2015, for which Rite Aid had obtained $1.1 billion in commitments as of Aug. 6. The new revolving credit facility is expected to have reduced pricing and a five-year maturity, although the maturity shall be April 18, 2014, in the event that Rite Aid does not repay, refinance or otherwise extend the remaining term loans under its senior credit facility prior to that time and meets certain other conditions. Rite Aid also is seeking amendments to provide more flexibility under certain covenants in its senior credit facility.

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New formulation of Taxotere gets regulatory approval

BY Alaric DeArment

BRIDGEWATER, N.J. The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new formulation of a chemotherapy drug made by Sanofi-Aventis, the French drug maker said Thursday.

The FDA approved a one-vial version of the drug Taxotere (docetaxel) injection concentrate. The drug is expected to become available in clinics and hospitals nationwide this fall in 80-mg and 20-mg dosages, Sanofi said. The drug is used to treat cancers of the breast, prostate, lungs, head and neck and stomach.

“This new formulation underscores the commitment Sanofi-Aventis has made to Taxotere and to healthcare professionals,” Sanofi VP and oncology business unit head Paul Hawthorne said. “We look forward to adding this formulation of Taxotere to the aresenal of oncology products Sanofi-Aventis offers to the cancer community.”

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Wearing the heat off with MiraCool

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK OccuNomix International has launched a new line of products to keep consumers cool during the hot days of summer.

The new MiraCool plus cooling bandana allows a cooling sensation to pass to pulse points that are carried throughout the body. MiraCool offers a variety of products — including a neck or collar bandana, headbands, skull caps, hats and cooling vests — that have been designed to meet the lifestyle and occupations of all age groups. All products are reusable, work without freezing or ice and stay hydrated for several days after simply soaking them in cool water for approximately 15 to 30 minutes.

“MiraCool products are a line of water-activated cooling accessories that can be worn at work, play, indoors or out. Although they look fashionable, they serve a very real function of keeping the wearer cool. And in today’s hot climate, staying cool is a priority to avoid heat exhaustion or heat stroke,” said Jennifer McCoy, VP marketing and product development. “With our innovative cooling products, people can feel comfortable, even on the hottest days.”

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