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Shoppers Drug Mart publishes management proxy circular for Loblaw deal

BY Antoinette Alexander

TORONTO — Shoppers Drug Mart has posted on the company’s website the management proxy circular relating to the proposed acquisition by Loblaw Cos., the company has announced.

The circular has been mailed to Shoppers Drug Mart’s shareholders of record as at Aug. 12.

A special meeting of Shoppers Drug Mart shareholders to consider the acquisition will be held Sept. 12. The transaction, which is subject to customary approvals, is expected to be completed before the end of the first quarter of 2014.

Shoppers Drug Mart has retained Laurel Hill Advisory Group to act as proxy solicitation agent and to respond to inquiries from Shoppers Drug Mart shareholders.

As previously reported, Loblaw plans to acquire Shoppers Drug Mart for C$12.4 billion in cash and stock. The combination is expected to yield annual cost synergies of C$300 million by year three, phased in evenly over the first three years following closing.

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Deloitte: Consumer spending flat, but shoppers positive about economy for BTS shopping

BY Jason Owen

NEW YORK — The Deloitte Consumer Spending Index remained flat in July, but a recent survey showed shoppers have a positive, although still tentative, outlook on the economy for the back-to-school shopping season.

“Our recent back-to-school shopping survey showed that consumers are more positive about the U.S. economy than in past years,” said Alison Paul, vice chairman of Deloitte LLP and retail and distribution sector leader. “However, nearly 60% of shoppers said they would buy only what the family needs. About one-third said they would spend more, but mainly due to the perception of higher prices and children needing more expensive items for school. Despite their improved optimism, consumers may be holding out for more proof that economic stability is lasting before any splurging, meaning retailers have to make their merchandise and offers extremely attractive to finish the back-to-school shopping season strong.”

The Index, which comprises four components — tax burden, initial unemployment claims, real wages and real home prices — remained at 4.4 this month. Improvements in real housing prices and labor markets offset weaknesses in other segments, Deloitte found.

“Real home prices continue to move higher from a year ago, while initial unemployment claims continue to trend downward,” said Daniel Bachman, Deloitte’s senior U.S. economist. “Real wages are still improving, albeit at a slower pace. While the Index has remained at the same level in the past three months, continued gains in housing and unemployment may help lift consumer confidence and spur future spending.”

Highlights of the Index include:

  • Tax Burden: The tax rate is up 5.8% from last year, and is now at 11.9%.
  • Initial Unemployment Claims: Claims moved down 5.8% from June 2012 to nearly 346,000 in June this year.
  • Real Wages: Hourly real wages ticked up 0.6% in a year to $8.78.
  • Real New Home Prices: Real new home prices climbed 10.6% from this time last year to reach approximately $107,000.

The Deloitte Consumer Spending Index tracks consumer cash flow as an indicator of future consumer spending, the company noted.

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Soft & Dri partners with Play for P.I.N.K. to help fight breast cancer

BY Antoinette Alexander

STAMFORD, CT – Newhall Laboratories has announced that its Soft & Dri brand is partnering with Play for P.I.N.K., a nonprofit organization that raises funds for breast cancer research. 

As of July 1, sales of specially-marked Soft & Dri stick and aerosol products sold in North America support a $10,000 donation to the organization.
 
In addition to being featured on-pack, the Play for P.I.N.K. logo was prominent in a Soft & Dri ad distributed in Sunday newspapers nationwide in July. The partnership is also prominently called out on Soft & Dri’s and Play for P.I.N.K.’s websites.
 
“We are honored to support the vital efforts of Play for P.I.N.K., whose steadfast dedication to funding breast cancer research we have long admired,” stated Jon Achenbaum, Newhall Laboratories’ CEO.  “Soft & Dri stands for confidence, a value that naturally aligns with Play for P.I.N.K.’s resolve to make ‘breast cancer’ a term referred to solely in past tense.”
  
Soft & Dri products with the Play for P.I.N.K. logo became available starting in August.
 


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