Walgreens confident Rite Deal will get done, but ready to certify compliance CEO says


DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens is still confident in its ability to close the Rite Aid transaction, but will force the issue if it comes to that, Stefano Pessina, executive vice chairman and CEO Walgreens Boots Alliance, told analysts Wednesday morning.


"I am still optimistic that we will bring this deal to a successful conclusion, but there is no doubt that the process of getting clearance for the transaction is taking longer than expected," Pessina said. "We are constantly and currently cooperating with FTC, Rite Aid and Fred's to get the necessary approvals and close the transaction."

But in the coming weeks, Walgreens may certify compliance, he said, which is a formal notification that a merger applicant believes it has supplied all the information regulators need to make a decision on the deal. Once parties have certified that they have substantially complied with an FTC request, the investigating agency has 30 additional days to complete its review of the transaction and take action if necessary.

"We are working to be in a position to certify compliance. We believe we can achieve this in the coming weeks and are still working toward our revised time table to obtain clearance by the end of July."

Pessina declined to speculate on whether the FTC could approve or disprove the deal with only two commissioners in place. "I cannot comment on the organization of the FTC. It will be up to them to decide whether they have enough people or not to judge on the quality of this deal," he said. "We are doing what we can together with Rite Aid and Fred's. We are collaborating very well with the FTC. And as I said we are preparing ourselves to be ready to certify compliance if we will decide to do so."


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