The Albertsons supermarket chain is buying the Rite Aid pharmacy chain, or at least the portion left over after Rite Aid sold 1,932 stores and three distribution centers to Walgreens last year. The combined companies will have about 4,900 locations, with 4,350 pharmacy counters and 320 clinics in 38 states and in Washington, DC.
According to CNBC, Albertsons will operate Rite Aid’s standalone stores and will rebrand the pharmacies in its supermarkets as Rite Aid. Albertsons includes supermarket chains such as Albertsons, Safeway, Shaws, Acme, and Vons.
Albertsons is privately held, while Rite Aid is publicly traded. According to a joint statement from both companies, Rite Aid shareholders will get $1.83 in cash and a share of Albertsons stock for every 10 shares of Rite Aid they own. Or they can choose to get 1.079 shares of Albertsons stock for every 10 shares of Rite Aid they own. Rite Aid shareholders would own 28% to 29.6% of the combined company.
The combined company will have a name that will be decided when the transaction is completed. It will have headquarters in both Boise, ID, and Camp Hill, PA, where Albertsons and Rite Aid currently have their respective headquarters.
According to the statement, the combined firm will create “strong local networks in attractive geographies” and an “integrated platform” that will provide customers greater choice, convenience and access. It will also leverage Rite Aid’s PBM, EnvisionRxOptions.
In 2015 Rite Aid announced plans to merge with Walgreens, but the deal faltered when antitrust authorities said it would probably not be approved. Instead, Walgreens bought nearly 2,000 stores in 2017.
The current deal reflects the turmoil in both the pharmacy and supermarket worlds. Amazon has acquired Whole Foods and is looking at entering the pharmacy market, and CVS Health intends to acquire Aetna. According to CNBC, Walgreens is in talks to acquire wholesaler AmerisourceBergen.