September 19, 2017 – After two years of trying, Walgreens has “secured regulatory clearance” to buy 1,932 Rite Aid stores for $4.375 billion. This is fewer stores and less money than previously proposed. Walgreens had wanted to buy close to 2,200 stores for over $5 Billion.
Walgreens CEO, Stefano Pessina, said in a statement, “Combining Walgreens retail pharmacy network with a strong portfolio of Rite Aid locations is expected to help us achieve enhanced, sustainable growth while enabling us to broaden our reach and provide greater access to convenient, affordable care in more local neighborhoods across the United States.”
Pessina told Bloomberg news the USA is not very business friendly, in the wake of the long delay experienced by regulators holding up the merger. He called it a “painful process” and said he was surprised by the length of the process to get regulatory approval, but he was clear his comments were not aimed as being critical of the Trump Administration.