Walgreens, Rite Aid Reach $4.38B Store Purchase Agreement
After several delays, Walgreens Boots Alliance and Rite Aid Corp. have agreed on a store purchase deal that was approved by federal regulators.
The companies announced Tuesday they received Federal Trade Commission clearance for a $4.38B store-purchase agreement, which will include 1,932 stores, three distribution centers and existing inventory, the Associated Press reports.
The deal has been in the works for more than two years and has been restructured several times to get past antitrust regulators. The previous plan, which was made public in June, called for Walgreens to acquire about 2,200 Rite Aid stores for $5.18B.
Even this was a step down from the first plan, which had Walgreens taking over Rite Aid Corp. for $9.4B. The original deal was under tight scrutiny for a couple of years before being abandoned by both companies. The original merger had caused antitrust concerns because it would have created the largest retail pharmacy chain in the country with a total of more than 13,000 stores.
At one point, Fred’s Pharmacy was named as a possible buyer to help assuage concerns about the merger, but this was quickly dismissed as a non-viable option.
The latest deal is expected to close by the spring of 2018.