Jean Coutu Group sells 72.5 million shares of Rite Aid stock

Sale reduces Canadian retailer's stake in Rite Aid to 11.7%

NEW YORK — The Jean Coutu Group sold 72.5 million of its 178.4 million shares of Rite Aid stock, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing Monday and company announcement Tuesday.

The Canadian retail pharmacy group said it sold the shares for $158.5 million and would record a gain of $49.7 million in its net profit during first quarter 2014. The sale brings Jean Coutu's stake in Rite Aid down to 11.7%, the company said.

The Canadian retail pharmacy group previously announced in July 2012 the sale of 56 million of its 234.4 million Rite Aid shares for $83.6 million, or $1.51 per share, which at the time reduced its stake in the company to 19.85%. The Camp Hill, Pa.-based retail pharmacy chain's stock was trading at $2.25 Tuesday afternoon, after opening at $2.25.

Rite Aid announced last Thursday that it had made a $118.1 million profit in fourth quarter 2013 and a $123.1 million profit for the fiscal year, sending the stock soaring from $1.98 Thursday morning to a high of $2.33 Friday.

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