Ownership of all 43 Rite Aid Rhode Island stores has been transferred to Walgreens, according to Phil Caruso of Walgreens media relations.
In response to questions from the Sun Rise, Caruso said when a store transfers ownership it becomes a Walgreens, although that won’t be immediately apparent.
The transfer in employment occurred on Jan. 18 according to employees.
“The associates in the 43 Rhode Island stores have become Walgreens employees and have a Walgreens pharmacy. For now, the front of the store will continue normal business operations under the Rite Aid brand. At this time, the external store signs will remain Rite Aid,” he said in an email.
He could not say how many former Rhode Island Rite Aid employees are now employed by Walgreens or whether the company planned to keep all Rhode Island locations.
He went on to explain, “There will also be a sign on the window of the door indicated that the store is owned by Walgreens, in addition to signs at the pharmacy letting patients know this is a Walgreens pharmacy.”
Acquisition of the Rhode Island stores is part of a larger plan for Walgreens to acquire 1,932 Rite Aid locations over two waves.
Caruso said that following acquisition, “stores are planned to be converted to the Walgreens brand in phases over time. We anticipate the completion of the 1,932 store purchases in spring 2018.”
According to documents on the Walgreens website, the company entered into an asset purchase agreement with Rite Aid on June 28, 2017 to acquire 2,186 stores, distribution centers and related inventory.
That agreement was later amended in a Sept. 19 agreement to acquire 1,932 stores, as well as the distribution centers and inventory for $4.375 billion “in cash and other considerations.”
According to the Walgreens Boots Alliance 2017 annual report, the holding company that owns Walgreens, the acquisition of Rite Aid is made, “with the expectation that the transaction will result in various benefits, including, among other things, cost savings and operating efficiencies.”
The report cautions, however, “We can provide no assurance that the anticipated benefits of the transaction, including cost savings and synergies, will be fully realized in the timeframe anticipated or at all; the costs or difficulties related to the integration of the acquired assets into our business and operations will not be greater than expected; unanticipated costs, charges and expenses will not result from the transaction; litigation relating to the transaction will not be filed; and the transaction will not cause disruption to the parties’ business and operations and relationships with employees and suppliers, payers, customers and other third parties. If one or more of these risks are realized, it could have a material adverse impact on our operating results.”
With reports from Ethan Hartley