As Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) looks to acquire Rite Aid, the chains are selling some 865 Rite Aid Stores to Fred’s Inc. for $950 million, according to USA Today.
Assuming regulators approve the deal, Fred’s would become one of the biggest pharmacy chains in the U.S. Employees are expected to keep their jobs during the transition from Rite Aid to Fred’s.
Walgreens merged with Alliance Boots two years ago. It has been trying to acquire rival Rite Aid since October 2015 for $9.5 billion, but the deal has stalled as federal trade officials were concerned about the combination of Walgreens—the world’s largest retail pharmacy—and Rite Aid’s 4,600 U.S. locations. The sale of the 865 stores to Fred’s aims to satisfy regulatory concerns so that the merger can finally move forward.
USA Today reported that per the agreement, Fred’s would also have to purchase any other stores that Walgreens is required to sell to appease federal regulators.