Albertsons To Acquire Rite Aid

22 February, 2018, 01:27 | Author: Larry Hoffman
  • An Albertsons store in Laguna Niguel California

The Albertsons Cos. and Rite Aid Corp. have revealed an agreement under which the privately held grocer will merge with the publicly traded drug store chain. Amazon made a push into the food business by buying the upscale grocery chain Whole Foods for $13.4 billion past year.

Albertsons would add new locations and size, amid increasing pressure from online competitors.

The combined Albertsons and Rite Aid company, which will be renamed according to the Wall Street Journal, will operate around 4,900 stores and 4,300 pharmacies, along with 320 clinics.

The S&P index for drug retail has fallen 11% in the past year, and the big 3 pharmacies are all scrambling to keep their footholds: In addition to Walgreens' purchase of 2k Rite Aid stores, CVS has a $69B purchase of healthcare company Aetna now under regulatory review.

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Retailers have been pushing home deliveries and other customer-friendly services in the wake of expanded competition from Amazon.

Albertsons' latest business proposal means your local Rite Aid will eventually see a new name and re-branding. Giant retailers including Bentonville, Ariz. -based Walmart Inc. are also looking to play a bigger role.

The result has been consolidation. Immediately following completion of the merger and assuming that all Rite Aid shareholders elect to receive shares plus cash, Albertsons Cos. will have approximately 392.9 million shares outstanding on a pro forma and fully diluted basis. After it closes, Albertsons shareholders will own 70.4 percent to 72 percent of the business, the companies said. The companies say they will keep headquarters in both Boise and Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, which is where Rite Aid is based. The merger is expected to close early in the second half of calendar year 2018, subject to the approval of Rite Aid's shareholders, regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.

Miller would serve as chairman of the combined company, and John Standley, the Rite Aid chairman and chief executive officer, would remain as CEO.

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The deal also comes after Rite Aid's failed attempt to sell itself to Walgreens. That merger fell apart amid scrutiny by United States antitrust authorities. The combination of Albertsons Companies' billion dollar own brands, including O Organics and Lucerne®, and its manufacturing and operating capabilities, with Rite Aid's own brands in health and wellness, including B4Y™ and Daylogic™, and its pharmacy expertise will allow the combined company to drive growth opportunities and efficiencies across its purchasing, marketing, manufacturing, and merchandising functions.

Albertsons has been backed by private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management. Its same-store pharmacy sales have been slumping for more than a year, while those of CVS and Walgreens have been stronger.

The executives of those companies offered few details about the project, which they said is in its early stages, but they said in a press release the companies would focus "on technology solutions that will provide [their] USA employees and their families with simplified, high-quality and transparent health care at a reasonable cost", as well as creating a solution "free from profit-making incentives".

"We are keeping (the stores) informed at every step as this transition occurs so we can work together to make sure the transition (is) as smooth for all concerned, team members and customers alike", Graham wrote in an email.

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