losangelesnewstoday.com March 20, 2018

Why is Albertsons Purchasing Rite Aid?

23 February 2018, 02:03 | Maryann Sutton

Rite Aid

Rite Aid

Albertsons is acquiring the remaining Rite Aid stores that weren't scooped up by Walgreens, which had plans to buy the whole company back in 2015 before the full deal was blocked by regulators.

The new company will operate approximately 4,900 locations, 4,350 pharmacies, and 320 clinics across 38 states and Washington D.C. Most Albertsons Companies pharmacies will be rebranded as Rite Aid, and the new company will continue to use Rite Aid stand-alone pharmacies.

John Standley, Rite Aid's CEO, will serve as chief executive of the new company while Bob Miller, Albertsons' current CEO, will be chairman. The companies say they will keep headquarters in both Boise and Camp Hill. Once the deal closes, shares of Albertsons will be trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

"The combined platform positions Rite Aid to capitalize on our pharmacy expertise and expand and enhance our pharmacy footprint", Standley said in a statement issued with the announcement.

This powerful combination enables us to become a truly differentiated leader in delivering value, choice, and flexibility to meet customers' evolving food, health, and wellness needs...

The move comes after 7 months positive chart setup for the $2.25B company.

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In December, drugstore giant CVS Health announced a merger with health insurer Aetna in a $69 billion deal that could reshape the way health care is delivered in the United States.

Walgreens attempted to buy the chain past year, but the full merger was blocked because of antitrust concerns.

Upon closing of the merger, shareholders of Rite Aid will own a 28.0 percent to 29.6 percent stake in the combined company, and current Albertsons Companies shareholders will own a 70.4 percent to 72 percent stake in the combined company. Those transfers include 96 stores in Maryland, which, like the other transferred stores, will take on the Walgreens banner over time, said Rite Aid spokeswoman Ashley Flower on Tuesday.

Late past year, drug store-and-pharmacy benefit manager CVS Health (CVS) announced it would acquire health insurance giant Aetna (AET). "The company has struggled for better than a decade to consistently grow, and its far-flung and complex components I believe are the major reason for this lack of progress".

US grocer Albertsons Cos Inc said it would buy drug store chain Rite Aid Corp (RAD.N) to create a company with $83 billion in annual revenue, giving it more clout to compete with bigger chains in an industry fearing the entry of Amazon.Com (AMZN.O), according to a Reuters story Tuesday. And, with retail stocks in general being hammered by the disruption of online shopping, it is a buyers' market.

Rite Aid (RAD) and Albertsons, the private-equity backed company that operates Safeway and several other grocery chains, said the deal would create a company with expected 2018 revenue of $83 billion and potential annual earnings of $3.7 billion before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. "It just won't be very pretty". The combined companies would be worth around $24 billion. The companies said the name of the combined company will be determined by transaction close.

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