Jean Coutu Group this week sold additional shares in Rite Aid Corp. and reduced its ownership stake in the U.S. drug chain.

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Jean Coutu sells more of its Rite Aid shares

June 28th, 2013

LONGUEUIL, Quebec – Jean Coutu Group this week sold additional shares in Rite Aid Corp. and reduced its ownership stake in the U.S. drug chain.

The Quebec-based drug chain said it has completed the sale of up to 40.5 million of its more than 105.9 million Rite Aid shares at an average price of $2.75 (U.S.), for total proceeds of $110.8 million (U.S.).

According to Jean Coutu, the sale lowered its share of Rite Aid's outstanding common stock to 7.2%. Jean Coutu said that as a result of the sale, it plans to record a $50 million (U.S.) net profit gain for its fiscal 2014 second quarter.

For the sale, Jean Coutu had filed an amended notice with the Securities and Exchange Commission of its intent to dispose additional Rite Aid shares. In mid-April, Jean Coutu had sold 72.5 million of its 178.4 million Rite Aid shares, or 40% of its interest in the U.S. chain, for $158.5 million. That sale had reduced its stake in Rite Aid to 11.7%.

Following that transaction, Michel Coutu, a director at Jean Coutu Group, resigned from Rite Aid's board after more than five years of service.

Over the past couple of years, Jean Coutu has scaled down its equity stake in Rite Aid. In July 2011 the Canadian drug chain sold 10% of its Rite Aid common shares, and then in late April 2012 completed the sale of 24% of its Rite Aid shares, which lowered its interest in Rite Aid to about 19.9%.

Jean Coutu acquired a 32% common equity stake in Rite Aid through a $3.4 billion deal announced in August 2006, in which it sold Rite Aid its U.S. retail pharmacy subsidiary, including more than 1,850 Brooks and Eckerd drug stores. Under the agreement, Jean Coutu received received $2.36 billion in cash, subject to a working capital adjustment, and 250 million shares of Rite Aid common stock, which gave it 30.2% of the voting power in Rite Aid. The deal closed in June 2007.

Jean Coutu Group's retail network currently includes 407 franchised stores in Quebec, New Brunswick and Ontario under the banners PJC Jean Coutu, PJC Clinique, PJC Santé and PJC Santé Beauté.

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