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News Briefs for July 22, 2013

July 22, 2013

•Pernod Ricard has updated the look of Ballantine’s Scotch whisky’s Finest expression. The new packaging features both traditional Ballantine’s characteristics while also having a more contemporary feel, including a chevron-shaped label reflecting the wings on the historic Ballantine’s label, a more prominent position for the brand’s crest and a simplification of the Ballantine’s seal. The new bottle will begin appearing on shelves this month. It coincides with a new global campaign behind the Ballantine’s brand, entitled “Stay True, Leave An Impression.”

•Harris Teeter shareholders are suing to block the acquisition of the supermarket chain by Kroger. The suit, filed in North Carolina’s Mecklenburg County Court, asserts that Kroger’s $49.38 a share purchase price undervalues Harris Teeter, which has sales of $4.5 billion and operates 212 stores across North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee, Florida, Maryland, Delaware and Washington, D.C. The shareholders are seeking either to block the transaction or receive monetary damages. Kroger’s $2.5 billion offer—agreed earlier this month—represents a 1.8% premium to Harris Teeter’s share price the day before the deal was announced. However, Teeter’s shares had jumped by more than one-third since rumors of its possible sale surfaced six months ago.

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