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US: “Walgreens ready to divest more for Rite Aid”: inside source

 |  March 14, 2017

Walgreens Boots Alliance, the pharmacy chain grappling with US antitrust officials over its planned takeover of Rite Aid, is set to pitch a new proposal to win approval for the deal, said people familiar with the talks.

Walgreens is nearing an agreement to sell more assets to Tennessee-based discount chain Fred’s — boosting the number of stores and adding distribution centers, software and personnel, according to one of the people.

Walgreens could present the beefed-up package to the US Federal Trade Commission within mere weeks, the person said, in hopes of satisfying the agency’s concerns after the initial proposal fell short. The merger would combine the No. 2 and No. 3 in the industry and has also raised concerns among state attorneys general, at least a dozen of whom are scrutinizing the deal, another person familiar with the matter said.

A revised deal would fall on desks of a commission depleted at the upper levels in the transition between administrations. President Donald Trump hasn’t yet named a permanent candidate to lead the antitrust body. Other commissioners have left, leaving just two of five seats filled, one by a Democrat and the other by a Republican, who is the acting chairman.

Full Content: Bloomberg

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