By the second half of 2016, there will be one less pharmacy for shoppers to choose from, as it was announced Tuesday that Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc., the parent company ofWalgreens and Duane Reader, had boughtRite Aid for $17.2 billion.

The company says that both corporations' boards of directors havealready approved the deal, but that's just one part of sealing the acquisition. The deal must also be approved by Rite Aid common stock holders, as well as face the expiration or finish of appropriate waiting periods as listed under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, in addition totraditional closing circumstances.

Rite Aid Stores to Initially Keep Name as Walgreens Buys Rite Aid

At the closure of the purchase, Rite Aid will then become a wholly owned subsidiary of Walgreens Boots Alliance, and Rite Aid stores are going to keep their name, at least in the beginning.

Walgreens Boots Alliance officials say additional decisions will be made later to decide on how the companies will be joined. The deal is expected to be paid for via 9.41 billion in cash, along with assuming existing debt (which is estimated at $7.4 billion) and taking on new loans.

Deal Creates Largest US Pharmacy Chain

If finalized, the deal will make Walgreens a pharmacy giant, withabout 18,000 stores in operation globally. It will combine the number one and number three pharmacy chains into one single unit.

CVS pharmacy is currently the second largest pharmacy chain, based on the number of stores.

Analysts say this deal turns one of the world’s biggest pharmaceutical companies into an even bigger one during a timeframe when additional main healthcare companies such as insurers and drug manufacturers are also getting bigger via their own multi-billion dollar agreements.

Rite Aid Stockholders to Get Higher Price for Shares

Under the deal, Rite Aid stockholders will receive $9 a share, which is nearly $3 higher per share than the stock was selling for at the close of the stock market on Monday. Even though the two company boards of directors have already green-lighted the deal, some say it may get some close looks by anti-trust regulators.

It is also important to note that Walgreens also bought the European health and beauty retailer Alliance Boots less than a year ago. The Walgreens buys Rite Aid deal faces such investigations and regulatory issues because the transaction leaves only two main rivals in the pharmacy business in the US: Walgreens and CVS Health Corps.

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