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Yucaipa Cos. to acquire Tesco’s Fresh & Easy

BY Antoinette Alexander

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — Private investment firm Yucaipa Cos., which was founded by billionaire Ron Burkle, has announced that it plans to acquire Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market from U.K.-based Tesco PLC.

Yucaipa’s purchase is slated to be complete within three months. In the meantime, it is expected to be business as usual for most Fresh & Easy stores.

Tesco stated that Yucaipa will acquire more than 150 stores as well as Fresh & Easy’s Riverside distribution and production facilities. More than 4,000 employees will transfer to the new business. As part of the deal, Tesco will loan the new business 80 million pounds, secured against the Riverside Campus facility.

Those stores not included in the transaction will be closed over the coming weeks. The total cash outflow relating to the closure of these stores, other expenses and the loan is expected to be no more than 150 million pounds.

“The decision we are announcing today represents the best outcome for Tesco shareholders and Fresh & Easy’s stakeholders. It offers us an orderly and efficient exit from the U.S. market, while protecting the jobs of more than 4,000 colleagues at Fresh & Easy,” stated Philip Clarke, CEO of Tesco.

Added Burkle, “Fresh & Easy is a tremendous foundation. Tesco should be applauded for giving their customers an affordable, healthy, convenient shopping experience. Its dedicated employees and great base of customers give us a solid starting point to complete Tesco’s vision with some changes that we think will make it even more relevant to today’s consumer. We plan on continuing to build Fresh & Easy into a "next-generation convenience retail experience," providing busy consumers with more local and healthy access for their daily needs."

Fresh & Easy opened its first stores in November 2007 and has 200 neighborhood markets in California, Nevada and Arizona. The company employs more than 5,000 people, including 1,300 at its distribution and manufacturing facilities in Riverside.
 

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Ranbaxy marks 20 years in Russia

BY Alaric DeArment

GURGAON, India — Ranbaxy Labs recently marked the 20th anniversary of its operations in Russia, the India-based generic drug company announced.

Ranbaxy established its operations in the Russian market in 1993 with the launch of its key brand, Cifran, and since then, it has grown to command a market share of 15.4% in the country, according to IMS Health.

Today, the company operates in 56 regions of Russia, with 51 drugs registered and 72 SKUs commercialized. Its range of products include drugs for infections, pain, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, central nervous system disorders, skin diseases and so forth.

"Ranbaxy was one of the first pharmaceutical companies from India to set up operations in Russia," Ranbaxy CEO Arun Sawhney said. "We have been providing high-quality, affordable generic medicines to the citizens of Russia for the last two decades, thereby supporting the government to bring down healthcare costs."

 

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Duracell launches advanced, long-lasting alkaline battery

BY Barbara White-Sax

BETHEL, Conn. — Duracell has launched an advanced alkaline battery with long-lasting power, a product it’s calling the "biggest innovation since CopperTop." The new Duracell Quantum was engineered from the ground up to offer consumers a premium alkaline battery. Available in AA and AAA cell sizes, Duracell Quantum features a revolutionary Hi-Density Core, which allows the Duracell Quantum battery to pack in more power than ever before.

The new battery also is the only one on the market with PowerCheck, which is a power indicator on the cell, as well as Duralock Power Preserve technology, which preserves power for up to 10 years in storage. Duracell Quantum is engineered to work efficiently across all battery-operated devices in a household, whether it is low-drain (e.g., remote controls or clocks} or high-drain (e.g., camera flash or gaming controls).

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