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Fred’s to acquire specialty pharmacy

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Fred’s Inc. plans to acquire specialty pharmacy EntrustRx as part of a $66 million deal.

The Southeastern discount store chain said Wednesday that it will buy Reeves-Sain Drug Store Inc., a specialty and retail pharmacy company based in the greater Nashville, Tenn., area. The deal includes EntrustRx, a specialty pharmacy operation with facilities in Spring Hill, Tenn., and Columbus, Miss., and the single Reeves-Sain retail pharmacy in Murfreesboro, Tenn.

Licensed in all 50 states, EntrustRx dispenses specialty drugs to treat complex conditions and diseases that typically require ongoing or long-term support. Its main therapy lines include hepatitis C, oncology, growth hormones, multiple sclerosis and rheumatology.

Under the agreement, Fred’s will acquire EntrustRx and the Reeves-Sain retail pharmacy for $53 million in cash and a $13 million note payable. The transaction is expected to close in April, pending customary closing conditions.

“We are excited to announce the acquisition of EntrustRx, which will further expand our presence in the specialty pharmacy arena, the largest growth area of the pharmacy industry,” Fred’s chief executive officer Jerry Shore said in a statement. “It offers a strong strategic fit to our current specialty pharmacy operations. We welcome the skilled and valued EntrustRx and Reeves-Sain Drug Store employees to the Fred’s team and know that they will make great contributions to the future our pharmacy operations.”

EntrustRx will offer additional advantages to Fred’s, including accreditation and access to expanded specialty networks, expertise in various disease states, access to limited-distribution medications, and a model for a scalable retail experience providing clinical services, immunizations, compounding and hospice medications, Shore added.

Overall, Fred’s operates 661 discount general merchandise stores in the Southeast. Roughly half of the stores have pharmacies. The company has recently sharpened its focus on the pharmacy end of its business, citing the department as a sales driver and enacting plans to have pharmacies in a greater percentage of its store base.

“We are proud and excited to move our company in a new direction by joining forces with Fred’s,” stated EntrustRx co-owner Rick Sain. “Fred’s capabilities, resources and experience in pharmacy, along with the potential reach of its retail pharmacy network, were important factors for us as we considered this transaction. Equally important were our shared values regarding the way we interact with and treat our customers and an aligned sense of dedication to the purpose of helping those suffering from chronic disease states and conditions.”


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