Walgreens prepares to dump over 500 stores

Walgreens

Walgreens

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens says it will probably have to unload more stores than expected to ease antitrust concerns over its pending $9 billion acquisition of Rite Aid, a deal that would make the nation’s largest drugstore chain even larger.

While it still expects to complete the acquisition this year, the Deerfield, Illinois, company said Thursday that it will probably have to divest more than 500 stores. The company previously said that it expected it would have to divest 500 or fewer stores.

Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. says it remains “actively engaged” with the Federal Trade Commission as it reviews the deal.

Federal regulators appear increasingly hesitant to approve major acquisitions after a record-setting pace last year in megadeals. They’ve already sued to block two multi-billion dollar health insurance tie-ups this year.