Federal Trade Commission Accepts Consent Agreement, Clearing the Way for Rite Aid to Complete Brooks Eckerd Acquisition
Camp Hill, PA - Rite Aid Corporation (NYSE: RAD) announced today that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has accepted the proposed consent agreement relating to Rite Aidís acquisition of the Brooks and Eckerd drugstore chains from The Jean Coutu Group (PJC) Inc. (TSX: PJC.A) In addition, the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act waiting period has expired, thereby permitting the parties to close the transaction. Rite Aid expects to complete the acquisition, which includes approximately 1,850 Brooks and Eckerd stores and six distribution centers, primarily located on the East Coast and in the Mid-Atlantic states, on June 4, 2007.
The terms of the consent order require Rite Aid to divest 23 stores located in the states of Connecticut, Maryland, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont and Virginia within a short period following completion of the acquisition. Rite Aid has entered into definitive agreements to sell all of the stores required to be divested. Those sales have been approved by the FTC, and Rite Aid expects to complete the required divestitures within the prescribed timeframe contained in the consent order.
The consent order will be subject to a 30-day public comment period, after which the FTC may propose modifications before the consent order is made final. However, Rite Aid is not required to delay closing of the acquisition for the comment period.
Rite Aid will enter into state consent orders for the divestitures required by the FTC and for the divestiture of three additional stores in New York, Vermont and Virginia. Finalization of the state decrees is not required for closing.
With the acquisition, Rite Aid will be the largest drugstore chain on the East Coast and will strengthen its position as the third largest U.S. drugstore chain. With more than 5,000 stores, the company will have the scale to compete more effectively with its major drugstore rivals.
Rite Aid Corporation is one of the nationís leading drugstore chains with annual revenues of more than $17.5 billion and approximately 3,330 stores in 27 states and the District of Columbia. Information about Rite Aid, including corporate background and press releases, is available through the companyís website at http://www.riteaid.com/.
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