|[March 07, 2017]
Fred's Pharmacy Announces Appointment of New Directors
Fred's Inc. ("Fred's Pharmacy" or the "Company") (NASDAQ:FRED) today
announced that it has appointed Christopher W. Bodine, Peter J. Bocian
and Michael K. Bloom, Fred's Pharmacy's Chief Executive Officer, to its
Board of Directors, effective immediately. In connection with today's
announcement, Michael J. Hayes, John R. Eisenman and Jerry A. Shore will
retire from the Board and not stand for reelection at the 2017 Annual
Meeting of Shareholders. Today's announcement is part of a robust and
ongoing reconstitution process in which the Board has been actively
engaged, with the assistance of Spencer Stuart, a leading executive
search firm, to add world-class, highly-qualified and experienced
directors to the Board.
Christopher W. Bodine
Chris Bodine brings to the Board his experience and expertise of
successful leadership at CVS Caremark Corporation and in other
During his 24-year tenure at CVS Caremark he helped build the company
with its rapid and successful global growth, including leadership
positions such as Executive Vice President and President, Health Care
Services, where he was responsible for strategy, business development,
trade relations, sales and account management, pharmacy merchandising,
marketing, information technology and the MinuteClinic.
Bodine drove the integration and growth efforts at CVS, including the
merger of CVS and Caremark, and was tasked with leveraging the
strengths of the combined company to accelerate the profitable growth
of the retail and PBM businesses. Bodine is credited with
incorporating elements of Caremark's healthcare services division and
establishing CVS' culture company-wide.
During his tenure at CVS, Bodine helped manage several of the
Company's largest acquisitions and was known for giving personal
attention to the integration of chains acquired by the company,
including moving to Florida for six months following the purchase of
approximately 1,260 Eckerd Corp. stores and to the West Coast after
the acquisition of more than 700 Sav-on and Osco stores.
Bodine spearheaded CVS' purchase of MinuteClinic, pioneering the
concept of immediate-care facilities within CVS stores, and was
responsible for its integration into CVS.
Bodine is active in the pharmaceutical industry, having served on
numerous boards and committees, including the Healthcare Leadership
Council, RI Quality Institute, National Retail Federation, National
Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS), and the NACDS Pharmacy
Affairs and Leadership Committees.
Bodine has been recognized by numerous publications for his
accomplishments. He was named one of Chain Drug Review's 2007 Chain
Drug Retailers of the Year, and in 2005 he was named as Mass Market
Retailers Magazine's Top Retail Merchandizer and Drug Store News'
"Five People Who Made a Difference" in Retail.
Bodine currently serves on the Board of Allergan PLC as a director,
Chairman of the Nominating and Governance Committee and a Member of
the Compensation Committee. During his tenure since 2009, Allergan PLC
has generated a 617% Shareholder Return.1
Peter J. Bocian
Pete Bocian brings to the Board extensive executive expertise in the
retail and technology sectors, with a track record of creating
substantial value at a number of highly recognized global companies. He
has significant financial, accounting and technology expertise.
Bocian has served in C-suite or executive level finance and
administrative roles at NCR, Starbucks, Hewlett-Packard (News - Alert), JPMorgan
Chase and Safeway, where he most recently served as Executive Vice
President and CFO until 2015.
Bocian has extensive experience with leading retail companies,
including CFO positions at Safeway and Starbucks, and a 24-year career
at NCR, a company with significant focus on technology and POS systems
for the retail, banking, airline and hospitality industries. Bocian
helped deliver significant increases to shareholder value during his
CFO tenure at NCR.
Most recently, Bocian was the Chief Financial Officer of Safeway,
where the company delivered strong returns during his approximately
two year tenure. Bocian played a leadership role in rationalizing the
portfolio to create more value and in the eventual sale and merger
Michael K. Bloom, President and CEO
Mike Bloom, who was appointed CEO of Fred's Pharmacy on August 29, 2016,
brings to the oard more than 30 years of experience in small-box retail
pharmacy, general merchandising, marketing, supply chain and store
Prior to joining Fred's, Bloom served as the President and Chief
Operating Officer of Family Dollar Stores, Inc. and spent more than 20
years with CVS Caremark Corporation, holding a variety of positions
with increasing responsibilities in merchandising, marketing, supply
chain and store operations, and rising finally to Executive Vice
President of Merchandising, Visual Merchandising, Marketing, Store
Brand, Advertising and Supply Chain.
Bloom has substantial acquisition and integration experience from his
time at CVS Pharmacy, where he was involved in the acquisitions of
Peoples Drug Stores, Revco, Eckerd Corp., Arbor Drugs and Longs.
As CEO of Fred's, Bloom assembled a strong new leadership team that
has led the development of the growth plan referred to as Optimize,
Focus and Growth with Discipline. The key components include
optimizing Fred's portfolio of stores, growing retail pharmacy
scripts, expanding into healthcare services, expanding the specialty
pharmacy portfolio of drugs and delivering leaner and more cost
effective results in both pharmacy and front of store.
Since Bloom became CEO, Fred's Pharmacy's has generated a 29%
Bloom played a vital role in Fred's being selected by Walgreen's Boots
Alliance, Inc. as the acquirer of the previously announced transaction
under which Fred's will acquire 865 divested stores, pending FTC (News - Alert)
Since becoming CEO, Bloom has increased emphasis on both retail and
specialty pharmacy growth as a priority, which have been catalysts for
growth at Fred's.
"We are pleased to welcome Chris, Pete and Mike to the Fred's Pharmacy
Board of Directors," said Thomas H. Tashjian, Chairman of the Board.
"This is an exciting time for Fred's Pharmacy, as our highly experienced
management team continues to execute on value-enhancing initiatives,
including acquiring 865 Rite Aid stores, optimizing our store fleet and
upgrading our technology infrastructure. Under Mike's leadership, Fred's
has made significant progress towards the execution of our strategic
vision, and we are thrilled that he can expand his role in the Company
through today's appointment. All of our new directors strengthen our
Board by contributing their vast knowledge of the retail and healthcare
industries, substantial leadership experience and financial expertise
and strong track record of successfully integrating acquisitions.
Moreover, our work is not done, as we continue to transform the Board to
ensure we have the right experience and expertise to ensure the success
of Fred's Pharmacy's exciting future."
Tashjian continued, "I want to thank Jack, former CEO Jerry Shore, and
especially former Chairman and CEO Mike Hayes, for their devoted
contributions on the Fred's Pharmacy Board. After many years of
appreciated service to the Company, we wish them the best in the future."
"I am delighted to be joining the Board, especially at such an important
time for the Company," said Bloom. "Since we assembled the management
team in 2015, we have been executing on a comprehensive plan to optimize
performance at the Company. We are also focused on completing the
transformative acquisition of 865 Rite Aid stores. We believe our
leadership team's significant transaction experience will enable a
smooth integration of the Rite Aid stores. I look forward to working
with my fellow Board members to continue to grow the Company and make
Fred's Pharmacy the industry leader I know it can be."
"I am honored to join the talented individuals on the Fred's Pharmacy
Board," said Bocian. "With its focused mission and first-class
management team, I am confident Fred's Pharmacy has a bright future.
Working with my fellow Board members, I look forward to making immediate
"I am excited about joining the Fred's Pharmacy Board and look forward
to putting my skills and experiences in the industry to work on behalf
of all of the Company's investors," said Bodine. "Pete, Mike and I will
work closely with the other members of the Board to help set the
Company's strategy and advance the Company's efforts to enhance value
for Fred's Pharmacy shareholders."
About Fred's Pharmacy
Tracing its history back to an original store in Coldwater, Mississippi,
opened in 1947, today Fred's Pharmacy is headquartered in Memphis,
Tennessee, and operates 643 pharmacy and general merchandise stores and
three specialty pharmacy-only locations, including 14 franchised Fred's
Pharmacy locations. With a unique store format and strategy that
combines the best elements of a healthcare-focused drug store with a
value-focused retailer, Fred's Pharmacy stores offer more than 12,000
frequently purchased items that address the healthcare and everyday
needs of its customers and patients. This includes nationally recognized
brands, proprietary Fred's Pharmacy label products, and a full range of
value-priced selections. The company has two distribution centers, one
in Memphis, Tennessee, and Dublin, Georgia.
As previously announced, on December 20, 2016, Fred's Pharmacy announced
that it signed an agreement with Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (NASDAQ:
WBA) and Rite Aid Corporation (NYSE: RAD) to purchase 865 stores and
certain assets related to store operations located across the eastern
and western United States for $950 million in cash. Closing of the
transaction is conditioned on the completion of Walgreens Boots
Alliance's proposed acquisition of Rite Aid, approval by the Federal
Trade Commission, as well as customary regulatory approvals and closing
For more information about the Company, visit Fred's website at www.fredsinc.com.
Forward Looking Statements
Comments in this news release that are not historical facts are
forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties that
could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected in
the forward-looking statements. A reader can identify forward-looking
statements because they are not limited to historical facts or they use
such words as "outlook," "guidance," "may," "should," "could,"
"believe," "anticipate," "plan," "expect," "estimate," "forecast,"
"goal," "intend," "committed," "continue," or "will likely result" and
similar expressions that concern the Company's strategy, plans,
intentions or beliefs about future occurrences or results. These risks
and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, those associated with
the Company's announced strategic plan, the success of announced
acquisition activities and future growth trends in businesses acquired;
general economic trends; risks related to the possibility that the
transactions may not close, including because one or more closing
conditions to the transactions, including certain regulatory approvals,
may not be satisfied or waived, on a timely basis or otherwise,
including that a governmental entity may prohibit, delay or refuse to
grant approval for the consummation of the transactions, or may require
conditions, limitations or restrictions in connection with such
approvals; the risk that the businesses and acquired stores, as
applicable, will not be integrated successfully; the risk of litigation
and/or regulatory actions related to the proposed transaction; changes
in consumer demand or purchase patterns; delays or interruptions in the
flow of merchandise between the Company's distribution centers and its
stores or between the Company's suppliers and same; a disruption in the
Company's data processing services; cyber-security threats; costs and
delays in acquiring or developing new store sites; and the factors
listed under "Risk Factors" in the Company's most recent Annual Report
on Form 10-K and any subsequent quarterly filings on Form 10-Q filed
with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Forward-looking statements
speak only as of the date made. Fred's undertakes no obligation to
release revisions to these forward-looking statements to reflect events
or circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of
unforeseen events, except as required to be reported under the rules and
regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission.
1 TSR (June 29, 2009 - March 6, 2017); Source (News - Alert): FactSet
2 TSR (August 29, 2016 - March 6, 2017); Source: FactSet
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