The US pharmacy chain Rite Aid is merging with Walgreens Boots Alliance in a US$17.2bn dollar deal announced on 27 October 2015.
The venture will increase Walgreens Boots Alliance share of the US pharmacy market – Rite Aid currently has nearly 4,600 stores in 31 US states and in 2015 its annual revenue totalled US$26.5bn.
“Our complementary retail pharmacy footprints in the United States will create an even better network, with more health and wellness solutions available in stores and online,” says Walgreens Boots Alliance executive vice chairman and chief executive officer Stefano Pessina.
Rite Aid chairman and chief executive officer John Standley says the merger means that the company will have access to increased capital that will “enhance our store base and expand opportunities”.
The merger has been approved by the two company boards but is still subject to a vote by Rite Aid’s shareholders. If approved, Rite Aid will be a wholly-owned subsidiary of Walgreens Boots Alliance but will initially continue to operate under its existing brand name.
The business plan was revealed the day before Walgreens Boots Alliance announced its latest financial figures for 2015. Its net earnings for the 2015 financial year increased by 28.9% to US$4.1bn compared with the same time a year ago. Net sales in fiscal year 2015 increased by 35.4% to $103.4bn compared with the same period a year ago.