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Walgreens-Rite Aid Merger: Fred’s Pharmacy Could Play A Big Role


Fred’s Pharmacy could be the hero of the Walgreens-Rite Aid $9.4B merger—talk is heating up that the discount drugstore chain might take 1,000 stores off the two retailers' hands.

The all-cash deal has hit one snag after another since it was announced more than a year ago. While Walgreens was confident the merger would go through smoothly in October, the retailer had to pump the brakes once Kroger backed out from taking 650 Rite Aid and Walgreens stores. 

Walgreens execs recently said they may need to close up to 1,000 stores, that's 500 more than initially planned. While nothing has been confirmed, Fred’s Pharmacy indicated during its most recent earnings call that it's interested in growing through acquisitions and partnerships, RetailDive reports.

That’s according to comments made by Fred’s CEO Mike Bloom, and while the chain officially says there is no assurance any transaction will take place, it’s hard to deny things may be looking up for Walgreens and Rite Aid. [RD]