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Priceline purchases OpenTable for $2.6 billion

BY Dan Berthiaume

Norwalk, Conn. – The Priceline Group Inc. has successfully completed its previously announced tender offer to purchase all outstanding shares of common stock of OpenTable Inc. for $103 per share in cash. The all-cash transaction is valued at $2.6 billion.

The Priceline Group expects to complete the acquisition of OpenTable on July 24 through a merger. As a result of the merger, all remaining eligible OpenTable shares will be converted into the right to receive $103 per share in cash. OpenTable shares will cease to be traded on the Nasdaq Global Market. OpenTable will continue to be headquartered in San Francisco and will operate as an independent business led by its current management team within The Priceline Group.

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Overstock.com provides special occasion online registries

BY Dan Berthiaume

Salt Lake City – Overstock.com Inc. has augmented its wish list feature with wedding, baby and special occasion registries. When creating a registry, customers are offered recommendations of top sellers within the Overstock GiftFinder for wedding, baby, housewarming, graduation, birthday or other special occasion categories.

Overstock registries are updated in real-time, allowing gift givers to see exactly what is available for purchase and what was already purchased, as to avoid duplicate gifts. Registry creators have the ability to add or remove items from their registry at any time; ensuring gift givers have products to purchase that are in stock and available.

Overstock registries offer tracking and matching of gifts purchased from the registry with specific gift givers’ names, making sending thank-you cards easy. Registries are shareable, allowing for cross posting to wedding websites or sharing via email or social channels. In addition, registrants can print out an insert to include with a wedding or baby shower invitation to inform guests where they are registered.

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Former Demoulas CEO wants to buy Market Basket

BY Dan Berthiaume

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Tewksbury, Mass. – Arthur T. Demoulas, the former CEO of Market Basket who was ousted as CEO of parent company Demoulas Super Markets, plans to bid to purchase the company.

Demoulas, who remains a major shareholder, wants to buy the 50.5% of the company controlled by opposing family members, led by his cousin Arthur S. Demoulas.

In a statement, Demoulas said the offer is “full and fair” and should “meet or exceed” seller expectations. He has not publicly revealed the figure, but the value of privately-held Demoulas Super Markets has been estimated at $3 billion to $3.5 billion.

“We care deeply about Market Basket and all of our associates and we want to work together to return the company to its successful model for serving our loyal customers,” said the statement. “Those who received the offer need to consider the matter, so we are not in a position to comment further at this time.”

Demoulas was fired in June 2014 following a financial dispute with his cousin. On July 18, employees staged a rally at company headquarters and during the weekend most warehouse workers and drivers walked off their jobs and said they would not return until Demoulas was rehired as CEO. Eight management-level employees were fired and the company began using replacement drivers. Since that time, Market Basket has reported widespread product shortages on its shelves. Arthur T. Demoulas has publicly asked for the fired managers to be rehired, regardless of whether he returns.

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