WASHINGTON — The Federal Trade Commission is expected to approve Walgreens’s acquisition of Rite Aid in the next two to four weeks, reported the New York Post, citing two sources close to the situation.
The major sticking point was reportedly the number of Rite Aid stores that need to be divested to Fred’s Pharmacy. The FTC gave “pushback” regarding the initial plan to divest 865 stores to Fred’s, but now that Walgreens and Rite Aid have agreed to divest up to 1,200 stores, as well improved the quality of stores to be divested, the FTC is much more likely to approve the deal.
As for the two-to-four-week timeframe, the Post reported Debbie Feinstein, bureau of competition director for the FTC, wants to get the deal approved before she resigns, expected to be “within weeks.”
Walgreens will pay Rite Aid shareholders between $6.50 and $7 per share once the deal closes, based upon the number of stores that need to be divested.
Fred’s Pharmacy has pledged to purchase all of the divested stores.