Albertsons buying big chunk of Rite Aid: Report

Albertsons plans to purchase the portion of Rite Aid that isn’t being sold to Walgreens, The Wall Street Journal reported early Tuesday. The newspaper notes the move comes as “retailers of all stripes scramble to respond to a rapidly changing consumer shopping landscape.”

Albertsons and Rite Aid are worth about $24 billion together, including debt, they said Monday.

Rite Aid is valued at roughly $2.3 billion, the Journal says, with thousands of drug stores and a benefits-management company with millions of members. Many Rite Aid stores are being bought by Walgreens. Albertsons owns Safeway and 19 other supermarket chains.

According to the Journal, the proposed cash-and-stock deal would leave Albertsons stockholders with some 71 percent of the combined company, with Rite Aid investors owning the remaining 29 percent.

The Journal says the chief executives of both companies told it the merger “is the best way for them to compete in businesses increasingly threatened by Inc., along with an emboldened Walmart.”

Amazon is making waves with its move into the food retail sector by buying Whole Foods and Walmart, the Journal notes, “has boosted its e-commerce offerings and the range of goods it sells, through a number of recent deals.”

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