RAD stock is moving higher in late trading on October 7, 2020, after the company announced that it is acquiring Bartell Drugs.

Rite Aid (NYSE: RAD) and Bartell Drugs today announced they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Rite Aid will acquire Bartell Drugs.

Founded in 1890, family-owned Bartell Drugs generates over $550 million in revenue and fills approximately 5.5 million prescriptions annually across its 67 stores in Seattle and throughout King, Snohomish and Pierce counties in Washington state. Bartell Drugs’ stores join Rite Aid’s existing 69 Seattle area stores and will continue to operate under the Bartell Drugs name. The purchase price is $95 million.

“For more than a century, Bartell’s has been an integral part of the fabric of Seattle and neighboring communities serving families with pharmacy services while promoting the health and well-being of local communities,” said Heyward Donigan, president and chief executive officer, Rite Aid. “The acquisition of Bartell’s fits perfectly into and accelerates our RxEvolution strategy, as our companies share a commitment to total health and wellness, the importance of the pharmacist as a trusted health advisor and the critical role the neighborhood pharmacy plays. Expansion within the growing Seattle area will allow Rite Aid to better serve customers, health plans and healthcare providers.”

“Looking forward to the future with Rite Aid,” said George D. Bartell, Chairman of Bartell Drugs, “we are excited about the opportunity to expand upon our mission to be the best neighborhood drug store in the Pacific Northwest. Rite Aid’s vision fits well with what we think will best serve the needs of our customers. This is a day to celebrate the 130-year success story of Bartell Drugs, while eagerly anticipating the future.”

Within each community it serves, Rite Aid aspires to be the neighborhood pharmacy that best supports the overall health and well-being of its residents. The greater Seattle area is made up of a large and growing number of people who share Rite Aid’s holistic health mindset. These same customers value the expanded role pharmacists play in choices impacting the well-being of their families. Rite Aid supports these families as a whole health destination with pharmacists that embrace their role as the everyday extension of the broader healthcare ecosystem. By deepening the organization’s commitment to families in the Seattle area, Rite Aid is better positioned to support the health and well-being of its customers, as well as the many notable regional health plans and health systems in the region which serve them.

The transaction is expected to be accretive to Rite Aid’s adjusted earnings per share after the first 12 months following the closing of the transaction. The transaction is expected to close by the end of Rite Aid’s 2021 fiscal year, subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. Moelis & Company acted as Rite Aid’s financial advisor and Troutman Pepper and Morgan Lewis acted as legal advisors in connection with this transaction.

Rite Aid is updating its previously issued fiscal 2021 guidance for capital expenditures and free cash flow as a result of the transaction. Capital expenditures are now expected to be between $300 and $325 million, and free cash flow is now expected to be between $60 million and $135 million.

On September 24, 2020, Evercore ISI analyst Elizabeth Anderson lowered the price target on Rite Aid stock to $4 from $6 and kept an Underperform rating on the shares. “Initial excitement” around the Q2 EBITDA beat was “quickly overshadowed by the full year FY21 guidance and the implications for profitability in the back half,” Anderson said following the company’s quarterly report. However, she notes that her estimates do not include the potential impact of any COVID vaccine distribution agreements, which Anderson said could mean estimates will need to be raised, particularly in FY22. While she sees management taking the right steps, Anderson remains uncertain they will be “enough to turnaround the company’s fortunes.”

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