The parent company of health and beauty retailer Boots has announced its intention to acquire Rite Aid, a US retail pharmacy chain, for the sum of $17.2bn, including acquired net debt.
If approved by regulators, the deal would see two of the biggest US drug stores combined. Walgreens Boots Alliance is confident that the takeover will create an opportunity to deliver a high-quality retail pharmacy choice for US consumers in an evolving and increasingly personalised healthcare environment.
The global pharmacy giant said it is highly focused on building a differentiated in-store experience for health, wellness and beauty, and this combination will help accelerate Rite Aid’s own efforts toward that end. Once the acquisition closes, Walgreens Boots Alliance plans to further transform Rite Aid’s stores to better meet consumer needs.
“Today’s announcement is another step in Walgreens Boots Alliance’s global development and continues our profitable growth strategy. In both mature and newer markets across the world, our approach is to advance and broaden the delivery of retail health, wellbeing and beauty products and services,” said Walgreens Boots Alliance Executive Vice Chairman and CEO Stefano Pessina.
“This combination will further strengthen our commitment to making quality healthcare accessible to more customers and patients. Our complementary retail pharmacy footprints in the US will create an even better network, with more health and wellness solutions available in stores and online. Walgreens Boots Alliance will provide to Rite Aid its global expertise and resources to accelerate the delivery of integrated frontline care, and to offer innovative solutions for providers, payers and other entities in the US healthcare system. Finally, this combination will generate a stronger base for sustainable growth and investment into Rite Aid stores, while realising synergies over time.”
Upon completion of the merger, expected to close in the second half of 2016, Rite Aid will be a wholly owned subsidiary of Walgreens Boots Alliance, and is expected to initially operate under its existing brand name. Working together, decisions will be made over time regarding the integration of the two companies, ultimately creating a fully harmonised portfolio of stores and infrastructure.
Walgreens Boots Alliance was created when UK High Street chemist Alliance Boots merged with the US drugstore Walgreens last year.