Walgreens, Rite Aid to create drugstore giant

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By miamiherald.com

Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. agreed to acquire Rite Aid Corp. for $9.42 billion in cash, creating a company with nearly 18,000 stores around the world and further expanding the company’s role in the distribution of medications in the United States.

The deal comes less than a year after Walgreens bought European health and beauty retailer Alliance Boots. Besides its namesake stores, Deerfield, Illinois-based Walgreens also owns Duane Reade stores in the U.S.

Walgreens said it will pay $9 for each share of Rite Aid Corp. That’s a 48 percent premium to Rite Aid’s closing price of $6.08 Monday. Shares of both companies jumped Tuesday after The Wall Street Journal first reported the deal.

The companies said the deal is worth $17.2 billion, when debt is included.

Rite Aid stores will initially keep their name after the deal closes, Walgreens said, but that may change over time. The deal is expected to close in the second half of next year.

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