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walgreens / rite aid merger terminated!



Walgreens is scrapping its deal to buy all of Rite Aid Corp. and instead will buy a smaller piece of the drugstore chain, after the original takeover effort seemed doomed by antitrust regulators.

Instead, Walgreens will buy about half of the over 4,500 Rite Aid stores, making Walgreens the largest pharmacy chain in the country but leaving Rite Aid as a regional chain. The 2,186 stores Walgreens agreed to buy are mainly in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and Southeast, Rite Aid said.

Walgreens had been waiting for months to see whether the FTC would try to block the planned acquisition of Rite Aid. The original agreement would have been for about 3,336 stores "making this agreement about one-third smaller and more likely to pass regulatory scrutiny in our view," Leerink analyst David Larsen said in a note to clients.

Walgreens said in a statement that it will begin acquiring the Rite Aid stores and related assets over a period of approximately six months, and intends to convert the stores to the Walgreens brand over time.

The FTC will end its review of the previous merger agreement and start an investigation of the new deal for stores and and assets to determine whether competition is harmed.

sources:
bloomberg.com | chicagobusiness.com | risnews.com