Federated Completes Second Transaction with CitiGroup
Cincinnati, Ohio, Federated Department Stores, Inc. completed a second transaction related to its previously announced sale of Federated and May Department Stores Co.’s credit card receivables to Citigroup. The transaction, covering receivables that Federated has repurchased from General Electric Capital Corp. entities, yielded a pre-tax gain of approximately $179 million ($112 million after tax). These proceeds will be used to repay the short-term debt associated with Federated’s acquisition of May Co., which was completed on Aug. 30, 2005. Under the terms of an agreement, Citigroup will purchase all Federated and May Co. credit receivables in several separate transactions at a premium of approximately 11.5%. The transactions are expected to produce after-tax proceeds of approximately $4.6 billion.
Federated Plans to Keep Some Marshall Field’s Traditions
Chicago, Federated Department Stores Inc. plans to remove the Marshall Field’s name from its downtown Chicago store and rename it Macy’s at State Street—but some of the traditions will live on, the company said. Federated, which is converting all 61 Marshall Field’s stores scattered across eight Midwestern states to the Macy’s nameplate in September, said it would honor Marshall Field’s traditions after people complained about the possibility of losing a piece of history. Among those traditions are meeting under the Field’s clock and carrying the retailer’s classic green tote bags. The company, however, also hopes to return Frango Mint production to the city on a lengthy list of planned changes. Other new changes include new brands, refurbishments to the store’s interior and exterior, and a fresh-foods market concept still being developed for the lower level.
Number of Independent Pharmacies Continues to Rise
Alexandria, Va., The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) announced that, despite the enormous challenges facing independent pharmacists in the United States, the number of pharmacist-owned, non-publicly traded pharmacies grew last year, according to preliminary data from the 2006 NCPA-Pfizer Digest. The initial findings also show a higher volume of prescriptions dispensed, an increase in average pharmacy sales and an increase in total prescription sales. In 2005, there were a total of 24,500 independent pharmacies, up from 24,345 in 2004. The average number of prescriptions dispensed annually per pharmacy was 63,500 (204 per day), up from 59,432 annually (190 per day) in 2004. The average annual independent pharmacy sales were $3.98 million, up from $3.58 million in 2004. The percentage of independent pharmacies offering niche patient services, such as durable medical equipment, also increased in 2005.