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Walgreens, Rite Aid end $9.4 billion merger, new deal agreed

Staff Writer |
Walgreens Boots Alliance and Rite Aid abandoned their $9.4 billion merger agreement and instead Walgreens will by about half of Rite Aid's stores.

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The companies said they would no longer seek to combine. Instead, Walgreens will purchase 2,186 Rite Aid stores, as well as three distribution centers and inventory, for $5.2 billion. Rite Aid will have 2,350 stores after the deal's conclusion.

The Federal Trade Commission was expected to rule against the full merger of Walgreens and Rite Aid on Thursday, CNN Money reported.

The deal was under intense scrutiny because it could have led to an oligopoly as Walgreens and CVS would be the only two major pharmacy chains.

After buying about half of Rite Aid stores, mainly in the U.S. Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and southeastern states, Walgreens will edge CVS to have the most stores in the United States with more than 10,200 stores to the more than 8,600 stores owned by CVS, USA Today reported.

Walgreens CEO Stefano Pessina said the new deal is "more attractive than the transaction it replaces."

The new deal must also be approved by U.S. anti-trust regulators. Walgreens must pay Rite Aid $325 million as part of a provision agreed in case the previous merger deal fell apart.

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