Albertsons Emerges as a Suitor in Possible Rite-Aid Store Acquisitions
DEERFIELD, IL - Could we be graced with a few more key retail acquisitions before Christmas?
As Walgreens endeavors to appease the Federal Trade Commission by selling off hundreds of Rite Aid stores, Albertsons has emerged as a leading suitor for the acquisitions, according to news source CTFN.
As we reported previously, Kroger has been said to be on the list of interested buyers for the past few months, but was said to be pulling out of the race when sources close to the situation stated that the FTC told Kroger the 650 stores for sale couldn’t be purchased and closed. This would mean that the retailer could not move operations inside a grocery store that might already be near an existing Rite Aid.
The latest report, however, cites an antitrust attorney who stated that "Albertsons and Kroger are established retail players with experience in pharmacies," and that the assets they are eyeing represent "key geographic expansion for both." CTFN noted that Walgreens still has not yet "freshened up the package" of planned stores for sale to present to the FTC, despite these developments.
Originally, it was posited that Walgreens might be looking to shed as many as 1,000 Rite Aid stores as it pursued the $17 billion deal, but the number has since been lowered to 650 stores.
Both Albertsons and Kroger have shown recent interests in expanding their footprints through acquisitions—Albertsons with recent California buy-ups under subsidiary Safeway, and Kroger reporting that it is in the process of figuring out the “special sauce,” as it were, to its own expansion.
We will continue to follow this and other buy-side strategies in the ever-changing retail market.