Walgreens Boots Alliance, already a global presence with more than 13,000 stores in 25 countries, will grow even larger with its purchase of rival drug store chain Rite Aid for $17.2 billion. The all-cash deal will make Rite-Aid, with nearly 4,600 stores in 31 states and the District of Columbia, a wholly owned subsidiary of Walgreens Boots Alliance, though initially its stores will continue to operate under their existing brand name.
Over time, leadership teams will make decisions regarding integration of the two companies, with the goal of ultimately creating "a fully harmonized portfolio of stores and infrastructure," according to a company statement.
Rite Aid shareholders will receive $9 per share, a 48% premium over the closing per-share price on Oct. 26, 2015. Both companies' boards of directors have approved the deal, but it still requires review from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. Walgreens Boots Alliance projects to close the deal during the second half of 2016.