Jan. 30 (UPI) — Walgreens’ acquisition of Rite Aid was postponed, and the two companies agreed to a $2 billion reduction in price, it was announced Monday.
The merger was to close Friday. It was extended to July 31 pending regulatory approval from the Federal Trade Commission.
Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. and Rite Aid Corp., both nationwide pharmacy chains, agreed in 2015 to a $9.4 billion merger in which Walgreens would purchase Rite Aid for $9 per share. The union would result in a chain of more than 10,000 stores in the United States. Regulators were concerned a business that large would hold excessive sway with pharmacy-benefit managers. In response to those concerns, Walgreens and Rite Aid said in December that 865 stores would be sold to Memphis-based regional drugstore chain Fred’s Inc.
The Chicago-headquartered Walgreens and Pennsylvania-based Rite Aid announced Monday that 200 more stores would be sold after the proposed merger, and that Rite Aid stock would be valued at between $6.50 and $7 per share, depending on Rite-Aid’s divestiture of stores.
Rite Aid shares dropped 16 percent in Monday morning trading. Walgreens shares rose 0.3 percent.