FINANCE

CVS Stands by Offer for Longs Despite Walgreens Bid

BY CSA STAFF

Woonsocket, R.I. CVS Caremark Corp. said Sunday it is leaving the price of its $2.7 billion offer for Longs Drug Stores Corp. unchanged, despite it being topped by Walgreen Co., according to the Associated Press.

CVS said it was extending the deadline for its $71.50-per-share tender offer for Longs until Oct. 15. The tender was due to expire on Monday.

“All other terms and conditions of the tender offer remain unchanged,” CVS said in a statement.

On Friday, Walgreen Co. offered to buy Longs for $75 a share, or about $2.8 billion, hoping to unseat the offer from CVS, which Longs has already accepted.

Walgreen CEO Jeffrey Rein said in a letter to Longs’ board of directors that the company would prefer to negotiate with Longs directly but also was prepared to take the offer directly to the company’s shareholders.

Rein also noted in the letter, which Walgreen disclosed in a press release late Friday, that Walgreen had expressed an interest in acquiring Longs earlier for $70 a share but never received due diligence materials from the company.

Longs has faced dissent from some shareholders over the value of the CVS deal. Pershing Square Capital Management, which owns about 3 million shares—a 9.2% stake—of Longs, has previously said that CVS’s bid didn’t adequately value Longs’ real estate holdings.

Two other major shareholders, Advisory Research and CtW Investment Group, have also publicly questioned the CVS deal.

Longs said Sunday it was reviewing Walgreen’s offer “in accordance with the terms of its existing merger agreement with CVS Caremark.”

CVS noted Walgreen’s offer still had to pass due diligence and get regulatory approval.

“Our offer represents a full and fair price for Longs’ shares, and we stand firm on our price,” said Tom Ryan, CVS’ chairman, president and chief executive. “Furthermore, the CVS Caremark’s offer has cleared all regulatory hurdles and provides certainty of completion to Longs shareholders.”

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Tuesday Morning engages AT&T for telecommunications management

BY CSA STAFF

DALLAS Tuesday Morning and AT&T have entered into two three-year contract agreements, under which AT&T will provide long distance and broadband aggregation services for Tuesday Morning’s retail locations.

Through the AT&T BusinessDirect Portal, Tuesday Morning will be able to manage its long distance and broadband services. The portal provides a visual breakdown of each store’s and region’s usage of telecommunications services.

 

“In evaluating our broadband and voice services, we wanted to have better insight into what we were spending, and AT&T offered a solution that enabled us to do that,” said Stephen Heinmiller, senior vp and cio for Tuesday Morning. “By streamlining our telecommunications process across the company, we are now seeing where and how our Information Technology dollars are spent. This type of efficiency will help us analyze and optimize our cost structure.”

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Wal-Mart launches voter registration campaign

BY CSA STAFF

BENTONVILLE, Ark. Wal-Mart has launched a voter registration campaign that will feature public service announcements on its in-store television network later this month to encourage both shoppers and associates to register and vote in the November elections.

The campaign will include two, 15-second PSAs that will encourage viewers to register to vote and cast their ballots in the upcoming election. The PSAs will run in stores through Election Day.

The company has also launched a voter registration portal on its corporate Web site, www.walmartstores.com/vote, and feature posters with voter registration information at nearly 600 Sam’s Club U.S. locations.

 

“Pollsters have found that our core shoppers, Walmart women, are an influential demographic in the upcoming presidential election,” said Leslie Dach, Wal-Mart’s evp of corporate affairs and government relations. “Our voter registration campaign is designed to encourage millions of customers and associates to register and cast their vote.”

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