In the second major pharmacy acquisition of 2015, Walgreens has agreed to acquire Rite Aid for $9.4 billion. The deal is valued at $17.2 billion including assumed debt.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Walgreens will pay $9 a share for the purchase. During the recession, Rite Aid shares sold for less than a quarter.
Walgreens’ move balances that of CVS, which bought Target pharmacies earlier this year.
Walgreens was already the biggest in the U.S. market with 8,200 stores and $37.2 billion in assets. The purchase will add 4,600 stores and $6.94 billion in assets.
CVS, its main competitor and the No. 2 largest pharmacy chain in the country, touts 7,800 stories and $25.9 billion in assets.
While Walgreens has more stores, CVS still owns a larger share of the pharmacy and drug store market based on revenue with 58 percent. Walgreens controls 31 percent and Rite Aid has 10.3 percent.