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Tom Ryan takes over as chairman of CVS board

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. CVS Caremark announced on Wednesday that Tom Ryan, president and chief executive officer, has assumed the additional role of chairman of the board, effective immediately. Mac Crawford is retiring from the company’s board and the position as chairman.

“Mac has been a dedicated and passionate advocate for Caremark over the past nine years. His broad health care expertise, savvy management and business acumen have helped make Caremark the leading pharmacy benefit manager in the nation,” stated Ryan. “His vision is what brought Caremark to where it is today, and now our combined mission to improve health care is what will take us to the next level.”

“I am confident that we have the right management focused on the right opportunities, and I could not be more pleased with the progress we have made since we closed the transaction,” Crawford added. There is no question that the company is in extremely capable hands with Tom and this newly combined CVS Caremark team.”

Crawford has been chairman of the CVS Caremark board since the closing of the merger. Previously, he served as chairman and chief executive officer of Caremark Rx.

In addition, the board of directors has appointed Terrence Murray as lead director. He is the former chairman of FleetBoston Financial Corp. and served as chief executive officer of FleetBoston from May 1982 to December 2001. He has served on the CVS Caremark board since the closing the deal. Previously, he served on the CVS board since 1996.

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Rite Aid to sponsor dirt racing events

BY Michael Johnsen

CONCORD, N.C. The World Racing Group on Monday announced that Rite Aid would sponsor in 2008 of the Rite Aid Outlaw Showdown at The Dirt Track being held at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, as well as the Rite Aid 200 at Super DIRT Week in Syracuse, N.Y.

The partnership brings a new name for the popular World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series race in Charlotte and is a renewal of Rite Aid’s participation in the premier 200-lap Advance Auto Parts Super DIRTcar Series event in Syracuse.

“We are proud to become the official sponsor of two major race events: the Rite Aid Outlaw Showdown at The Dirt Track at Lowe’s Motor Speedway and Rite Aid 200 at Super DIRT Week,” stated Jay Ross, Rite Aid vice president of marketing. “These are great, long-standing events with dedicated fans and Rite Aid is thrilled to support these exciting races in 2008.”

“This is a great partnership for our organization and our fans,” stated World Racing Group president Tom Deery. “Rite Aid’s promotional support for the World of Outlaws event in Charlotte as well as the Rite Aid 200 at Super DIRT Week is appreciated and reciprocated by fans across the entire northeast.”

Rite Aid’s promotional programs for each event will include driver appearances, show car displays and ticket giveaways at Rite Aid Pharmacies in the Carolinas and the Northeast in conjunction with each event.

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A&P to sell remaining shares of Metro to finance acquisition of Pathmark

BY Antoinette Alexander

MONTVALE, N.J. A&P has announced that it expects to close on the Pathmark acquisition in December. It also announced that it plans to sell its remaining Metro shares to finance the deal.

A&P revealed in March plans to acquire grocer Pathmark for $1.3 billion in cash, stock and debt. The move—which hardly took the industry by surprise—will create a 550-store, $11 billion supermarket chain that will likely have a greater presence in pharmacy going forward.

Assuming that the 11.7 million shares of Metro are sold prior to Nov. 30, A&P expects to use the proceeds, together with borrowings under a reduced Bridge Facility and a portion of its increased $675 million ABL Facility to finance the deal. Based on the closing price of the shares on Nov. 2, the value totals about $435 million.

“We regard the Metro divestiture as a clear near-term positive for A&P. Since the company had exited the Canadian market, the stake has little real strategic value,” stated Goldman Sachs analyst John Heinbockel in a research note. “So it is essentially being traded for the much more strategically valuable Pathmark asset.”

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