Simon & Schuster finished 2017 on a high note, posting a 12% increase in revenue in the fourth quarter over the comparable period in 2016. The publisher also saw a 22% jump in operating income. With the strong finish, sales for the full year rose 8% over 2016, to $830 million, while earnings increased 11%, to $132 million. S&S CEO Carolyn Reidy said 2017 was a year in which most of S&S's plans came to fruition. She noted that all four of the publisehr's major operating groups posted sales gains over the previous year. The audio group, led by sales of downloadable audio, saw the biggest gain, followed by the international group, the adult group, then the children's group.The company's distribution business also had higher sales in the year. Click Read More below for additional information.
Rite Aid Corporation (NYSE: RAD) today announced that it has secured regulatory clearance for an amended and restated asset purchase agreement with Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (Nasdaq: WBA) whereby WBA will purchase 1,932 stores, three distribution centers and related inventory from Rite Aid for an all-cash purchase price of $4.375 billion on a cash-free, debt-free basis. Rite Aid also has the option to purchase generic drugs that are sourced through an affiliate of WBA at a cost substantially equivalent to Walgreens for a period of 10 years. The Hart-Scott-Rodino waiting period expired for the proposed transaction.
Under the amended and restated agreement, Rite Aid will retain approximately 250 additional stores as compared to the prior agreement announced between Rite Aid and WBA in June 2017, resulting in a reduction in the transaction sale price. The decision to retain these stores follows discussions between Rite Aid and WBA, as well as the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”).
“Securing regulatory clearance provides us with a clear path forward to realize the benefits of this transaction. With a compelling and more profitable store footprint in key markets, enhanced purchasing capabilities and a stronger balance sheet and improved financial flexibility, we are well positioned to implement our plans to deliver improved results,” said Rite Aid Chairman and CEO John Standley.
Standley continued, “I am proud of our entire Rite Aid team for their extraordinary efforts during this process and their tremendous dedication to taking great care of our customers and patients. We are committed to supporting a smooth transition as we remain focused on delivering a great customer experience, improving our business and creating value for all of our stakeholders.”
The 1,932 stores included in the amended agreement are primarily located in the Northeast and Southern regions of the United States. The three distribution centers are located in Dayville, Conn., Philadelphia and Spartanburg, S.C. Under the terms of the amended agreement, Rite Aid will provide certain transition services to WBA for up to three years after the closing of the transaction.
The transaction has been approved by the Boards of Directors of Rite Aid and WBA and is still subject to other customary conditions. Approval of the transaction does not require a shareholder vote. Rite Aid and WBA expect to transfer ownership of the stores in phases beginning in October 2017, with the goal of completing the transfer of all stores in spring of 2018.
Rite Aid expects to use a substantial majority of the net proceeds from the transaction to repay existing indebtedness which will improve the company’s leverage levels. Rite Aid also expects that the gain it will record on the sale of the assets will be largely offset by its net operating loss carryforwards, resulting in a minimal cash tax payment on this transaction.
Immediately following the completion of the transaction, Rite Aid will continue to operate approximately 2,600 stores and six distribution centers as well as EnvisionRx, its pharmacy benefit manager, RediClinic and Health Dialog. The company will leverage the capabilities of these subsidiaries to deliver a higher level of care in the communities it serves.
more at: https://www.riteaid.com/corporate/news?p_p_id=riteaidpressreleases_WAR_riteaidpressreleasesportlet&p_p_lifecycle=0&p_p_state=normal&p_p_mode=view&p_p_col_id=column-3&p_p_col_pos=2&p_p_col_count=3&_riteaidpressreleases_WAR_riteaidpressreleasesportlet_action=getNewsRoomDetail&itemNumber=2060