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Rite Aid-WBA deal progresses

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CAMP HILL, Pa. — Rite Aid Corp. stockholders voted by a wide margin to approve the company’s $17.2 billion deal to be purchased by Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. (WBA).

According to Rite Aid, about 97% of the votes cast at a special meeting of stockholders earlier this month were in favor of the deal. A quorum of 74% of Rite Aid’s total outstanding shares of common stock as of December 18 voted.

Separately, 89% of votes approved compensation that will or may become payable to Rite Aid executive officers in connection with the merger.

WBA is paying Rite Aid shareholders $9 per share for the acquisition. The deal, expected to be completed in the second half of this year, is subject to satisfaction of antitrust regulations.

The combination of the two companies would create the largest U.S. pharmacy retailer, with more than 12,800 stores across the country. Rite Aid, which had fiscal 2015 sales of $26.5 billion, operates about 4,560 stores in 31 states and the District of Columbia.

In December, WBA said it completed $12.8 billion in term loan facilities as part of the financing for the deal. The Federal Trade Commission, under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act, also announced that month that it requested additional information from WBA and Rite Aid regarding the deal.


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