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  • 09/19/2017 06:21:47

    Walgreens cleared to purchase 1,900-plus Rite Aid stores and more for $4.4 billion

    Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. said Tuesday that it has gotten regulatory approval to purchase Rite Aid Corp. assets including 1,932 stores, three distribution centers and related inventory for $4.375 billion in cash. This deal updates the terms of the June 2017 agreement, which was a $5.175 billion deal for 2,186 stores. Store purchases are expected to start in October and complete in spring 2018, and will focus primarily on the northeast and southern U.S. The three distribution centers, which won't begin their transition for at least a year, are in Dayville, Conn., Philadelphia, and Spartanburg, S.C. Walgreens will assume certain limited-store liabilities in the transaction, the related leases and give Rite Aid the option to become a member of the Walgreens Boots Alliance's group purchasing organization, which Rite Aid can exercise through May 2019. After the stores are acquired, they are expected to be converted to the Walgreens brand. The deal is not expected to impact adjusted earnings per share in the fiscal year ending August 2018. The company expects synergies of more than $300 million, fully realized within four years of the initial closing. Walgreens shares are unchanged in premarket trading and up 2.2% for the past year. Rite Aid shares are up 2.2% in premarket trading, but down 66% for the last year. And the S&P 500 index is up 17.1% for the past 12 months. Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

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