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NY Post: Walgreens-Rite Aid deal to be approved in 2 to 4 weeks

BY Brian Berk

WASHINGTON — The Federal Trade Commission is expected to approve Walgreens’s acquisition of Rite Aid in the next two to four weeks, reported the New York Post, citing two sources close to the situation.

The major sticking point was reportedly the number of Rite Aid stores that need to be divested to Fred’s Pharmacy. The FTC gave “pushback” regarding the initial plan to divest 865 stores to Fred’s, but now that Walgreens and Rite Aid have agreed to divest up to 1,200 stores, as well improved the quality of stores to be divested, the FTC is much more likely to approve the deal.

As for the two-to-four-week timeframe, the Post reported Debbie Feinstein, bureau of competition director for the FTC, wants to get the deal approved before she resigns, expected to be “within weeks.”

Walgreens will pay Rite Aid shareholders between $6.50 and $7 per share once the deal closes, based upon the number of stores that need to be divested.

Fred’s Pharmacy has pledged to purchase all of the divested stores.

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Walgreens Flu Index identifies top 3 states with flu, and 2 states where flu is gaining

BY Michael Johnsen

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Oklahoma, Texas and Mississippi are experiencing the greatest amount of flu activity, though the greatest gains in flu activity happened in Tennessee and North Carolina, according to the latest Walgreens Flu Index for the week of Feb. 12.

This week, the top 10 markets relative to flu activity are:

  1. Harlingen-Weslaco-Brownsville-McAllen, Texas;
  2. Corpus Christi, Texas;
  3. Oklahoma City;
  4. Tyler-Longview (Lufkin & Nacogdoches), Texas;
  5. Dallas-Ft. Worth, Texas;
  6. Ft. Smith-Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, Ark.;
  7. Chattanooga, Tenn.;
  8. Tulsa, Okla.;
  9. Greenville-New Bern-Washington, N.C.; and
  10. Lafayette, La.

For the week of Feb. 12, the top 10 markets in terms of flu activity gains are:

  1. Chattanooga, Tenn.;
  2. Greenville-New Bern-Washington, N.C.;
  3. Cedar Rapids-Waterloo-Iowa City & Dubuque, Iowa;
  4. Tri-Cities, Tenn.-Va.;
  5. San Antonio;
  6. Oklahoma City;
  7. Greensboro-High Point-Winston Salem, N.C.;
  8. Raleigh-Durham (Fayetteville), N.C.;
  9. Ft. Smith-Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, Ark.; and
  10. Shreveport, La.

The Walgreens Flu Index is a weekly report developed to provide state- and market-specific information regarding flu activity, and ranking of those experiencing the highest incidences of influenza across the country.

The Flu Index shows which populations are experiencing the most incidences of influenza each week based on Index methodology. The data does not measure actual levels or severity of flu activity. The data is analyzed at state and geographic market levels to measure absolute impact and incremental change of antiviral medications on a per store average basis, and does not include markets in which Walgreens has fewer than 10 retail locations.

 

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Walgreens Boots Alliance chief merchandising officer to depart

BY DSN STAFF

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Linda Filler, Walgreens Boots Alliance president retail products and chief merchandising and marketing officer, will be departing the retailer effective April 1.

"We appreciate Linda’s contributions to our company.  Under her leadership, we have created a clear plan to accelerate our progress in retail products and we’re seeing market-share growth and improvement in customer satisfaction," Michael Polzin, divisional VP corporate communications at Walgreens Boots, shared in an emailed statement. "Linda has agreed to act in a strategic advisory capacity to us beyond this date. In addition, she has plans to accept a second public company board role and to devote more time to her family."

Regarding the chief merchant role, "we are working on how these important areas of our business will be led in the future and will follow up with further announcements over the next few weeks," Polzin noted.

 

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