New York Post By Reuters December 20, 2016
Rite Aid will sell 865 stores to Fred’s for $950 million to satisfy antitrust concerns over its proposed takeover by Walgreens Boots Alliance, the companies said Tuesday.
The $9.4 billion deal between the No. 1 and No. 3 drugstore chains in the US had been caught up in a Federal Trade Commission antitrust review.
The regulator had pressed for the sale of more than 500 stores to an independent chain — but finding such a buyer proved difficult.
Rite Aid and Walgreens were widely expected to divest stores in states where the combined company would have a particularly strong position.
Walgreens has 13,200 stores, nearly 60 percent of which are in the US, while Rite Aid has 4,570 stores in the US.
Walgreens said in October 2015 it would buy smaller peer Rite Aid for $9.4 billion to widen its US footprint.
Fred’s Pharmacy will continue to operate the acquired stores under the Rite Aid banner during the transition period, the companies said on Tuesday.
Walgreens said it continues to expect the acquisition to realize savings of over $1 billion within three to four years after the closing of the deal.
The company said it was working toward closing the Rite Aid transaction in early 2017.
BofA Merrill Lynch was the financial adviser for Walgreens Boots Alliance, while Citi advised Rite Aid.
(I think one of the first orders of business for Jeff Sessions in Trumps Justice Department is to look at Amazon and its relationship to anti-trust monopoly laws. If for no other reason than to terroize Jeff Bezos.)