Walgreen Co. has received regulatory clearance from the Federal Trade Commission to complete its planned acquisition of Duane Reade Holdings Inc.
The agreement, which is slated to close next month, will nearly quadruple Walgreens' current store count in New York City and raise its store presence in the lucrative Manhattan market more than tenfold.
DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreen Co. has received regulatory clearance from the Federal Trade Commission to complete its planned acquisition of Duane Reade Holdings Inc.
Walgreens said Tuesday that it expects to close the acquisition of the metropolitan New York drug store chain in early to mid-April.
"We’re clear to move forward and complete the Duane Reade acquisition, which will immediately give Walgreens a leading position in the nation’s largest drug store market," Walgreens president and chief executive officer Greg Wasson said in a statement. "We look forward to combining the strengths of our two companies to best serve our customers in the New York metropolitan area and the many communities we serve nationwide, while also creating real value for our shareholders."
The companies announced the $1.08 billion deal in mid-February. Under the cash transaction, Walgreens will acquire Duane Reade — including its 257 drug stores, corporate office and two distribution centers — from affiliates of private equity firm Oak Hill Capital Partners.
Walgreens currently operates 70 stores in New York City. About 60% of the 257 Duane Reade locations are in Manhattan, where Walgreens has 13 stores. The acquisition will raise Walgreens’ total store count above 7,400.
In announcing the deal, Wasson also pointed to Duane Reade’s recent initiatives in urban retailing, beauty merchandising, customer loyalty and store brands and how those efforts could expedite Walgreens’ current plan to transform its own store experience.
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