December 20, 2016
Camp Hill, PA-based Rite Aid plans to sell 865 stores to Memphis, TN-based Fred’s Inc. for $950 million, in an effort to assuage antitrust concerns surrounding its proposed merger with Deerfield, IL-based Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. The sale would make Fred’s one of the biggest pharmacy chains in the U.S.
Walgreens is the world’s largest retail pharmacy chain, and has 13,200 stores globally, including more than 630 in California. Rite Aid has 4,570 stores in the U.S. and roughly 630 in California. Once regulators approve the sale, the proposed $9.4-billion merger is expected to close at the start of next year.
BofA Merrill Lynch and Regions Bank will provide financing to Fred’s for the acquisitions. A.T. Kearney advised Fred’s. BofA Merrill Lynch served as financial adviser for Walgreens Boots Alliance, and Citi advised Rite Aid.
Walgreens expects the merger to generate more than $1 billion in savings and other efficiencies in the first three to four years.
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