Walgreens is confident that its acquisition of Rite Aid will close by the end of this year, and CEO Stefano Pessina reports only about 500 stores would need to be sold to address regulator’s antitrust concerns. Analysts first predicted that anywhere from 1,000 to 3,000 stores would need to sell to satisfy the Federal Trade Commission if the $9.4 billion deal went through. Currently, if Walgreens and Rite Aid locations are combined, it would total 12,800 stores.
Total Retail’s Take: Despite the fact the FTC blocked a few healthcare mergers and a Staples-Office Depot union back in May, Walgreens seems very confident its deal with Rite Aid will get approved. In addition to its potential merger with Rite Aid, Walgreens is dealing with Brexit. Britain represents the company’s second largest market by sales after it acquired the U.K.’s Alliance Boots in 2014. Selling 500 stores may be difficult in this volatile situation.