Kroger in Line to Buy Walgreens, Rite Aid Stores
Kroger Co. is close to wrapping up a deal to buy some of the Walgreens and Rite Aid stores that Walgreens needs to divest in order to complete its acquisition of the drug store chain. The Cincinnati Courier reports the deal involving multiple buyers for nearly 1,000 stores should be finalized by year-end. Kroger is in line to buy some of the stores, while Fred's, a discount pharmacy, disclosed earlier this week that its management was discussing a “pending transaction" to buy some of the Walgreens locations.
Total Retail's Take: Like Total Retail noted earlier in the week, the longer the merger between Walgreens and Rite Aid takes to go through, the less confidence I have in it actually happening. However, now with Kroger stepping in as another potential buyer of Walgreens’ divested stores, it could spark a bidding war with Fred's and speed up the process. That's good news for Walgreens and Rite Aid shareholders.