DEERFIELD, Ill., Oct. 27 (UPI) — Walgreens is purchasing Rite Aid in a deal worth more than $17 billion and will create a mega pharmacy chain with nearly 13,000 U.S. locations, officials said Tuesday.
Under the terms of the deal, Walgreens would acquire all of Rite Aid’s outstanding shares for $9 per share, the company said.
“The combination of Walgreens and Rite Aid creates a further opportunity to deliver a high-quality retail pharmacy choice for U.S. consumers in an evolving and increasingly personalized healthcare environment,” Walgreens said in a news release.
Officials said Rite Aid stores will retain the Rite Aid name initially before being folded into the Walgreens brand.
“Our approach is to advance and broaden the delivery of retail health, well-being and beauty products and services,” said Walgreens Executive Vice Chairman and CEO Stefano Pessina. “Our complementary retail pharmacy footprints in the U.S. will create an even better network, with more health and wellness solutions available in stores and online.”
“Joining together with Walgreens will enhance our ability to meet the health and wellness needs of Rite Aid’s customers while also delivering significant value to our shareholders,” Rite Aid Chairman and CEO John Standley said. “This transaction is a testament to the hard work of all our associates to deliver a higher level of care to the patients and communities we serve.”
The merger would put Walgreens out in front of the pharmacy market. The nation’s second-largest chain, CVS, has 7,800 stores.