Deutsche Bank Comments on Walgreens (WBA) Following Update on Rite Aid (RAD) Deal
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Deutsche Bank maintained a Buy rating on Walgreens Boosts Alliance (NASDAQ: WBA) with a price target of $94. Earlier Walgreens said it remains actively engaged with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regarding its review of the pending Rite Aid (NYSE: RAD) acquisition. It also said now expects that the most likely outcome will be that the parties will be required to divest more than the 500 stores previously communicated, but still continues to expect that fewer than 1,000 stores will be required to be divested.
Comments on developments analyst George Hill said, "The requirement for greater than 500 store divestitures indicates the FTC is taking a more conservative stance on market concentration for the combined company, and the divestitures are higher than our previous estimates. We believe that the higher divestitures number increases the likelihood of private equity firms as acquirers of the divested stores, as well as food chain buyers such as Kroger or Fred’s. We continue to believe that the largest concern for the FTC is the leverage the combined company would have in negotiations with the PBMs, particularly in certain regions of the country, but we view the industry as competitive and expect the divestitures to satisfy regulators."
Shares of Walgreens Boosts Alliance closed at $82.88 yesterday.
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