Donald Named Albertsons Pres.; Chain To Acquire 2,500 Rite Aids

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The new company will have an expanded footprint and be ranked first or second in 66 percent of the top metropolitan areas in the U.S. and will be ranked first or second in 70 percent of pharmacy locations based on Nielsen data. It said the new deal will create the leading integrated food, health and wellness retailer on the West Coast and will have a strong brand position in the Northeast.

Also included in the deal is Rite Aid’s pharmacy benefit management (PBM) company, EnvisionRxOptions, which will potentially provide the combined company with incremental growth by deepening existing relationships and expanding reach across higher-value pharmacy customers. This will be achieved, the merchant said, through a full suite of health and wellness capabilities, including specialty pharmacy offerings and in-store RediClinics in larger Albertsons Cos. stores and stand-alone Rite Aids. In addition, investing in preferred relationships with EnvisionRxOptions, other PBMs, and regional payors is expected to drive prescription growth.

The company will also be able to utilize data analytics and integrated loyalty programs to drive growth and target new customers. The new company expects to capitalize on enhanced data and analytics to unlock profitable growth through new customer acquisition, new merchandising programs and demand forecasting. It will also seek to create cross-branded opportunities for its loyalty programs, improving connections across a combined current base of 25 million active loyalty program participants.

“This powerful combination enables us to become a truly differentiated leader in delivering value, choice and flexibility to meet customers’ evolving food, health and wellness needs,” said Standley. “The combined platform positions Rite Aid to capitalize on our pharmacy expertise and expand and enhance our pharmacy footprint. We are confident that delivering improved customer experiences and value will drive growth and profitability while creating compelling long-term value for shareholders.”

“The hallmark of Albertsons Companies’ business has been to become the favorite local supermarket of our customers,” said Miller. “We have always put our customers first, and our combination with Rite Aid will enable us to even better serve the valuable pharmacy customer by providing a fully integrated one-stop-shop for our customers’ food, health and wellness needs. I have long known the excellent management team at Rite Aid, and we share a singular focus on superior customer service and a clear vision and strategy to become the favorite local supermarket and pharmacy to shoppers in every neighborhood we serve.”

Lenard Tessler, vice chairman and senior managing director at Cerberus, commented, “As a long-term partner to Albertsons Companies’ world-class management team, this transaction highlights Cerberus’s confidence in this team and our conviction in the underlying customer focus driving this combination. As significant shareholders, we are very optimistic about the future of the combined company.”

The board of directors will be comprised of nine directors, four of whom will be named by Albertsons Cos. (including Miller and Tessler), four of whom will be named by Rite Aid (including Standley), and one of whom will be a jointly selected director. A majority of the board will be independent. Tessler will serve as lead director.