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Rite Aid names Roundy’s exec as CFO

BY Marianne Wilson

Camp Hill, Pa. — Rite Aid Corporation announced that Darren Karst is joining Rite Aid as executive VP and CFO, effective Aug. 20.

Karst succeeds Frank Vitrano, who has announced he will retire in September, 2015. Until then, Vitrano retains the chief administrative officer responsibilities for the company’s information technology, real estate and indirect procurement functions. He will also serve as a key resource in the development and execution of new business and growth initiatives.

Karst joins Rite Aid from Roundy’s a leading Midwest grocer based in Milwaukee, Wis., where he has been the executive VP, CFO and assistant secretary since 2002. Prior to that, Karst was a partner at the Yucaipa Companies, a private equity investment firm.

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Higher expenses cut into Overstock.com Q2 net income

BY Dan Berthiaume

Salt Lake City – A 23% increase in Overstock.com’s sales and marketing expense helped reduce its second quarter fiscal 2014 net income to $1.9 million, down 48% from $3.7 million in the same period a year earlier. Revenue grew 13% to $332.5 million, from $293.2 million.

Patrick M. Byrne, CEO and chairman of Overstock.com, cited increases in technology spending as helping the company to quickly conceive and execute new ideas such as a recently launched consumer credit facility.

“Our increases in technology spending have supported an innovation cycle that has spun up to the point that we can conceive and execute on ideas much faster than at any previous time in our existence,” said Byrne. “Barring exogenous events, I anticipate that our innovative efforts will continue gathering momentum.”

In addition, Overstock announced that a California appeals court has set an Aug. 15, 2014 date to hear oral arguments in its previously dismissed stock manipulation lawsuit against Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch. The court will also hear a motion to unseal the evidence that has been jointly filed by The Economist, Rolling Stone, Bloomberg, and The New York Times.

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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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