John Standley to serve as CEO and Bob Miller to serve as chairman of combined company.
Albertsons Cos., one of the nation’s largest grocery retailers, and Rite Aid Corp., a national drugstore chain, are merging to form one company that provides customers with flexible and convenient access to a full range of food, health and wellness offerings.
Current Rite Aid Chairman and CEO John Standley will become CEO of the combined company, with current Albertsons Cos. Chairman and CEO Bob Miller serving as chairman. The combined company is expected to be comprised of leadership from both companies and will be dual headquartered in Boise, Idaho, and Camp Hill, Pa. The name of the combined company will be determined by transaction close.
The integrated company will operate approximately 4,900 locations, 4,350 pharmacy counters, and 320 clinics across 38 states and Washington, D.C., serving 40+ million customers per week. Most Albertsons Companies pharmacies will be rebranded as Rite Aid, and the company will continue to operate Rite Aid stand-alone pharmacies.
The combination of the companies is expected to deliver significant value to customers, employees, and shareholders by:
Enhancing Geographic Footprint and Creating Local Networks in Attractive Geographies. The new company will have an expanded footprint and be ranked first or second in 66% of the top metropolitan areas in the U.S. and will be ranked first or second in 70% of pharmacy locations. It will establish the leading integrated food, health, and wellness retailer on the West Coast and will have a strong brand position in the Northeast.
Leveraging Strong Pharmacy Network and Rite Aid’s Pharmacy Benefit Management Company, EnvisionRxOptions, to Drive Customer Growth. The combined company will be positioned to drive incremental growth by deepening existing relationships and expanding reach across higher-value pharmacy customers. This will be achieved through a full suite of health and wellness capabilities, including specialty pharmacy offerings and in-store RediClinics in larger Albertsons Companies stores and stand-alone Rite Aid stores. In addition, investing in preferred relationships with EnvisionRxOptions, other PBMs, and regional payors is expected to drive prescription growth.
Utilizing Data Analytics and Integrated Loyalty Programs to Drive Growth and Target New Customers. The new company will capitalize on enhanced data and analytics to unlock profitable growth through new customer acquisition, new merchandising programs, and demand forecasting. It will also create cross-branded opportunities for its loyalty programs, improving connections across a combined current base of 25 million active loyalty program participants.
Combining Strong Own Brand Portfolios with Extensive Manufacturing and Distribution Network to Drive Revenue Growth and Operating Efficiencies. The combination of Albertsons Companies’ billion dollar own brands, including O Organics and Lucerne, and its manufacturing and operating capabilities, with Rite Aid’s own brands in health and wellness, including B4Y and Daylogic, and its pharmacy expertise will allow the combined company to drive growth opportunities and efficiencies across its purchasing, marketing, manufacturing and merchandising functions.
Serving Customers When, Where, and How They Want to Shop. The combined company’s expanding omni-channel platform will provide customers with convenience, choice, and flexibility through multiple in-store formats, digital channels, and same-day food and prescription delivery options from stores and via Drive Up & Go.
“This powerful combination enables us to become a truly differentiated leader in delivering value, choice, and flexibility to meet customers’ evolving food, health, and wellness needs,” said Standley. “The combined platform positions Rite Aid to capitalize on our pharmacy expertise and expand and enhance our pharmacy footprint. We are confident that delivering improved customer experiences and value will drive growth and profitability while creating compelling long-term value for shareholders.”
“The hallmark of Albertsons Companies’ business has been to become the favorite local supermarket of our customers,” said Miller. “We have always put our customers first, and our combination with Rite Aid will enable us to even better serve the valuable pharmacy customer by providing a fully-integrated one-stop-shop for our customers’ food, health and wellness needs. I have long known the excellent management team at Rite Aid, and we share a singular focus on superior customer service and a clear vision and strategy to become the favorite local supermarket and pharmacy to shoppers in every neighborhood we serve.”
Under the terms of the agreement, in exchange for every 10 shares of Rite Aid common stock, Rite Aid shareholders can elect to receive either one share of Albertsons Cos. common stock plus approximately $1.83 in cash or 1.079 shares of Albertsons Cos. stock. Depending upon the results of cash elections, upon closing of the merger, shareholders of Rite Aid will own a 28% to 29.6% stake in the combined company, and current Albertsons Cos. shareholders will own a 70.4% to 72%. stake in the combined company on a fully diluted basis. Immediately following completion of the merger and assuming that all Rite Aid shareholders elect to receive shares plus cash, Albertsons Cos. will have approximately 392.9 million shares outstanding on a pro forma and fully diluted basis. Following the close of the transaction and the share exchange, Albertsons Companies’ shares are expected to trade on the New York Stock Exchange.
Albertsons Companies is backed by an investment consortium led by Cerberus Capital Management, L.P. (“Cerberus”), which also includes Kimco Realty Corp., Klaff Realty LP, Lubert-Adler Partners LP, and Schottenstein Stores Corp.
Lenard Tessler, vice chairman and senior managing director at Cerberus, commented, “As a long-term partner to Albertsons Companies’ world-class management team, this transaction highlights Cerberus’s confidence in this team and our conviction in the underlying customer focus driving this combination. As significant shareholders, we are very optimistic about the future of the combined company.”