Customers will not see an immediate effect from Walgreens Boots Alliance’s agreement to acquire Rite Aid Corp.
The $17.2 billion deal is for Illinois-based Walgreens to acquire all outstanding shares and the net debt of Camp Hill-based Rite Aid. The purchase is for $9 per share in cash.
There are four Rite Aids in Centre County on north and south Atherton streets and Westerly Parkway in State College, and East Bishop Street in Bellefonte. Rite Aid spokeswoman Ashley Flower said Rite Aid pharmacies would initially remain under the same brand and operation. The deal is expected to close in the second half of 2016.
A joint press release by the companies Tuesday gave insight into their next steps.
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The boards of directors of both companies approved the transaction, but it is subject to approval by the holders of Rite Aid’s common stock and government regulators that may have antitrust concerns.
“We’ve had extensive talks with our antitrust council,” Flower said. “We do not believe this should cause any regulatory concerns.”
Flower also said all Rite Aid stores would be “business as usual,” and that it was too early to speculate about what Rite Aid stores may be closed or consolidated.
“We expect there to be very minimal overlap between Rite Aid and Walgreens stores,” Flower said.
Walgreens will have to deal with a familiar competitor in Centre County — CVS, which has four pharmacies in close proximity to each local Rite Aid.
The deal would give Walgreens about 12,800 stores in the United States compared to CVS’ 7,800.