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Walgreens, AmerisourceBergen reportedly in acquisition talks

BY Marianne Wilson

Walgreens Boots Alliance reportedly is in talks to buy AmerisourceBergen, one of the biggest drug distributors in the U.S.

Representatives of Walgreens CEO Stefano Pessina reached out recently to representatives of AmerisourceBergen CEO Steve Collis about acquiring the roughly three-quarters of the distributor that Walgreens doesn’t already own, according to the Wall Street Journal, which cited people familiar with the matter.

According to the WSJ report, the companies are in early talks to combine, though sources reportedly stressed the uncertainty as to whether there would be a deal. Both companies declined to comment to the Journal.

As of its Monday close, Walgreens had market value of approximately $67.8 billion. AmerisourceBergen had a value of about $19.6 billion.

News of the potential acquisition comes as Walgreens rival CVS Health is in the midst of its $69 billion acquisition of health insurer Aetna. Most recently, Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase announced they are forming independent company to address health care for the U.S. employees of their respective companies.

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Sears Canada creditors pressure Sears CEO

BY CSA Staff

Eddie Lampert, the chairman, CEO and controlling shareholder of the beleaguered Sears Holdings, has another problem to deal with.

Creditors of Sears Canada are pointing a figure at Lampert for receiving dividend payments as the Canadian retailer’s business crumbled in 2017, reported CNBC. Lampert and his ESL Investments hedge fund were “major beneficiaries” of roughly $3 billion in dividend payments since 2005, according to the report, which cited court papers served in Ontario’s Superior Court of Justice by a group of pensioners.

Writing in a blog post on Sunday, Lampert said that “the [dividend] payments had no impact whatsoever on the Sears Canada pension plans” and “these dividend payments did not deprive the company of the cash needed to fund operations.”

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Made-to-measure menswear brand Indochino has new investor and strategic partner

BY Marianne Wilson

Indochino has a new investor.

The digitally-native brand, which has been expanding in brick-and-mortar, has received a “strategic investment” from Mitsui & Co. (U.S.A.). The investment and strategic collaboration will be used to help the retailer accelerate its North American expansion plans and investment in its global operations and supply chain. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Indochino is coming off a successful 2017 during which it grew revenue more than 50% (for a second consecutive year), achieved full year EBITDA profitability and expanded from 10 to 20 showrooms. It plans to open up to 18 locations in 2018.

“Mitsui’s global footprint and its expertise scaling and operating international businesses will be invaluable as we prepare for the next phase of growth and scale as a global apparel brand,” said Indochino CEO Drew Green.

Mitsui is the third global corporation to forge a strategic investment in Indochino in the last several years. Its new shareholders include Dayang Group, the world’s largest suit manufacturer, and Postmedia, Postmedia Indochino Chain store age one of Canada’s largest media companies.

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