Analyst: Walgreens' Rite Aid deal still on point


NEW YORK — Challenging "vague" reports suggesting the Walgreens deal to acquire Rite Aid may be in jeopardy, Deutsche Bank on Friday issued a research note outlining the number of options Walgreens still has at its disposal leading up to the Jan. 27 deadline.

"While an objection [by FTC] to Walgreens’ proposed remedy would be a blow, we do not believe it would spell the death of the deal," wrote George Hill, Deutsche Bank research analyst. "Our recent conversations with Walgreens Boots Alliance indicate there are other prospective buyers for the Rite Aid stores that need to be divested, so Walgreens can attempt to reengage those would-be-buyers," he noted.  "Also, as the Walgreens/Rite Aid merger agreement is set to expire on Jan. 27, Walgreens could look to re-cut the Rite Aid deal given the challenges, potentially enhancing its profile."

Hill maintained a "buy" rating on WBA shares, reflecting an increased confidence in the deal still going through to fruition.


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