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Safeway to distribute interest in Blackhawk Network Holdings to Safeway shareholders

BY Michael Johnsen

PLEASANTON, Calif. — Safeway on Monday announced that its board of directors declared a special stock dividend to its stockholders of all of the 37.8 million shares of Class B common stock of Blackhawk Network Holdings owned by Safeway, representing approximately 94.2% of the total outstanding shares of Blackhawk’s Class B common stock and approximately 72% of the total number of shares of Blackhawk common stock of all classes outstanding. 

The date of distribution by Safeway of the special stock dividend is contemplated to be April 14, 2014. Blackhawk’s Class A common stock presently trades on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol "HAWK." Shares of Blackhawk Class B common stock are not currently traded on any stock exchange but, upon completion of the spin-off, are expected to trade on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol "HAWKB." Blackhawk’s Class B common stock has 10 votes per share, and Blackhawk’s Class A common stock has one vote per share.

The distribution by Safeway of the special stock dividend will be made on the distribution date to all Safeway stockholders of record on April 3, 2014. The distribution will take place in the form of a pro rata dividend of Blackhawk Class B common stock to each Safeway stockholder of record on the record date. As of March 21, 2014, Safeway had approximately 230.3 million shares of its common stock outstanding. Accordingly, it is anticipated that Safeway stockholders will receive approximately 0.164308 of a share of Blackhawk Class B common stock for every share of Safeway common stock held as of the record date, less any shares of Blackhawk Class B common stock withheld in respect of applicable withholding taxes. The final distribution ratio for the stock dividend will be calculated by dividing the number of shares of Blackhawk Class B common stock to be distributed by the number of shares of Safeway common stock outstanding on the record date. 

No fractional shares of Blackhawk stock will be distributed. Instead, Safeway stockholders will receive cash in lieu of any fraction of a share of Blackhawk stock that they otherwise would have received.

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Safeway named one of the 2014 World’s Most Ethical Companies by the Ethisphere Institute

BY Michael Johnsen

PLEASANTON, Calif. — Safeway on Monday announced it has been named one of the 2014 World’s Most Ethical Companies by the Ethisphere Institute. This is the fourth time and third consecutive year that Safeway has been recognized by Ethisphere for its commitment to maintaining superior business practices. Safeway is the only U.S. large retailer to receive this distinction. 

"It is an honor to be included on the prestigious WME list and to be among businesses whose principles and practices uphold the highest standards of ethics and corporate social responsibility," stated Larree Renda, Safeway EVP and chair of the Safeway Foundation. "By establishing standards that go beyond basic norms and legal requirements, Safeway and the other WME businesses foster ideals and innovations that benefit their industries and communities."

The Ethisphere Institute is an independent center of research, best practices and thought leadership that promotes best practices in corporate ethics and compliance and enables organizations to improve governance, mitigate risk and enhance relationships with employees, business partners, investors and the broad regulatory community. For the past eight years, it annually selects companies from throughout the world for its WME list.

"In today’s complex global economy, it can be increasingly challenging for companies to meet performance expectations, while addressing the varying regulatory, compliance and sustainability needs across geographies and cultures," commented Tim Erblich, CEO of the Ethisphere Institute. "Global economic and social challenges from anti-corruption to security and privacy are accelerating the need for companies and organizations to embrace ethics and governance as critical business imperatives…These organizations have taken this challenge head on and recognize that leading ethical business practices present an unprecedented opportunity to deliver significant tangible and intangible organizational benefits."

Safeway is an industry leader in principled business practices, environmental sustainability and effective community outreach. For the last three years, the company has been at the top of the US Greenpeace Supermarket Seafood Sustainability scorecard, a ranking of sustainability practices for grocers. In 2013, Safeway was named to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index North America for the fifth year in a row and to the Carbon Disclosure Project for the fifth consecutive year.   

In February of this year, President Obama chose Safeway’s Maryland distribution center as the site of an announcement where he called for new fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas standards for medium-duty and heavy-duty trucks. The President praised Safeway saying, "By improving the aerodynamics of its trucks, investing in larger trailers, more efficient tires, Safeway has improved its own fuel efficiency. And the results are so solid that Safeway now encourages all the companies it hires to ship its products to do the same."

The company’s significant community outreach and philanthropic initiatives include raising and donating millions of dollars annually to benefit a range of non-profits, including food banks, schools, cancer research centers and numerous organizations assisting people with disabilities. Collectively, those funds average $200 million annually.

 

 

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Sugar in the Raw gets new variety

BY Ryan Chavis

BROOKLYN, N.Y. — Cumberland Packing Corp.’s In the Raw sweetener brand announced Sugar in the Raw Organic White, an organic, unbleached cane sugar. National distribution is set to begin this month in leading grocers and specialty health food stores across the United States.

"We are thrilled to offer a wholesome alternative to refined white sugar. We understand that our consumers are increasingly health and eco-conscious and we want to meet that demand by providing the best ingredients available. Because Sugar In The Raw Organic White is Eco-Social certified, USDA Organic and non-GMO, it’s a good choice for you and the environment too," said Steven Eisenstadt, CEO of Cumberland Packing Corp.

Sugar in the Raw Organic White comes in a 24-oz. resealable and environmentally friendly recyclable bag, and has a suggested retail price of $3.84.

 

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