Walgreens Boots Alliance scraps plans to buy Rite Aid

Global pharmacy giant Walgreens Boots Alliance has dropped its plans to buy US-based rival Rite Aid.Instead, Walgreens has agreed to buy 2,186 Rite Aid stores and some distribution centres for $5.2bn ($4bn).Walgreens’ planned takeover of Rite Aid was first announced in October 2015.However, it faced resistance from competition regulators as it would have seen a tie-up of the first and third largest US pharmacy chains.”We believe this new transaction addresses competitive concerns previously raised with respect to the prior transaction,” said Walgreens chief executive Stefano Pessina in a statement. “This new transaction extends our growth strategy and offers additional operational and financial benefits.”Walgreens said it would pay Rite Aid a $325m termination fee for scrapping the deal. The company also said it had dropped a related deal to sell 865 Rite Aid stores to pharmacy chain Fred’s.Walgreens Boots Alliance was created in 2014 when Alliance Boots merged with Walgreens. The business has a presence in more than 25 countries and employs more than 400,000 people.
Source: BBC

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