Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc.,announced a new definitive agreement with Rite Aid Corporation under which Walgreens Boots Alliance will purchase 2,186 stores, three distribution centers and related inventory from Rite Aid.
The consideration for the transaction will be $5.175 billion in cash, the assumption by Walgreens Boots Alliance of the related real estate leases and the grant of an option to Rite Aid, exercisable through May 2019 and subject to certain conditions, to become a member of Walgreens Boots Alliance’s group purchasing organization, Walgreens Boots Alliance Development GmbH. Walgreens Boots Alliance will also assume certain limited store-related liabilities as part of the new transaction.
This new agreement replaces the previous merger agreement with Rite Aid, announced in October 2015 and amended in January 2017, and the agreement to divest certain Rite Aid stores to Fred’s, Inc. announced in December 2016. Both of these agreements have been terminated, and Walgreens Boots Alliance will pay Rite Aid the $325 million termination fee with respect to their merger agreement.
The new transaction is subject to the expiration or termination of applicable waiting periods under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended, and other customary closing conditions. The initial closing of the new transaction is expected to occur within the next six months.
Upon the initial closing of the new transaction, Walgreens Boots Alliance will begin acquiring the stores and related assets on a phased basis over a period of approximately six months, and intends to convert acquired stores to the Walgreens brand over time.
Walgreens Boots Alliance expects the new transaction to be modestly accretive to its adjusted diluted net earnings per share in the first full year after the initial closing of the new transaction, and expects to realize synergies from the new transaction in excess of $400 million. These synergies are expected to be fully realized within three to four years of the initial closing of the new transaction and derived primarily from procurement, cost savings and other operational matters.
“This new transaction extends our growth strategy and offers additional operational and financial benefits,” said Walgreens Boots Alliance Executive Vice Chairman and CEO Stefano Pessina. “It will allow us to expand and optimize our retail pharmacy network in key markets in the U.S., including the Northeast, and provide customers and patients with greater access to convenient, affordable care. We believe this new transaction addresses competitive concerns previously raised with respect to the prior transaction and will streamline and simplify the transition for customers, team members and other stakeholders.”