Walgreens to Divest Up to 1,000 Stores in Rite Aid Deal
U.S. antitrust regulators let Walgreens Boots Alliance know it will have to close up to 1,000 retail stores if its acquisition of Rite Aid will be approved. Despite this, Walgreens still expects the deal to close in the second half of this year. Walgreens currently has 8,200 U.S. stores and Rite Aid has 4,500. Even if the merger caused 1,000 to close, Walgreens would still be larger than rival CVS Pharmacy, which has 9,600 locations.
Total Retail’s Take: The U.S. antitrust regulators have been tough as of late. The Justice Department even sued to block both the proposed purchase by health insurer Aetna of rival Humana, as well as Anthem’s proposed purchase of Cigna. The FTC also shot down the Office Depot and Staples deal earlier this year. Despite this recent precedent, Walgreens’ executives seem confident that its deal with Rite Aid will be approved.