Forbes, September 10, 2018
Bruce Japsen

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Walgreens Boots Alliance said it will buy Fred's patient prescription files and related pharmacy inventory for $165 million.

The companies said Monday that the files will come from 185 Fred’s stores located across 10 Southeastern states and continue the Memphis-based discount retailer's effort to engineer its latest attempt at a financial turnaround. 

The exit from the pharmacy business by Fred’s comes after the retailer was unable to escalate its shift to healthcare when a deal to buy hundreds of Rite Aid stores ended abruptly last year. An attempt by Walgreens to buy Rite Aid and satisfy the Federal Trade Commission by selling 865 Rite Aid stores to Fred’s was unable to pass regulatory muster. Walgreens instead bought just 2,186 of the more than 4,500 Rite Aids, turning Rite Aid into a multi-regional drugstore chain and preventing Fred’s from buying hundreds of drugstores all at once.

Now it's Walgreens that will benefit from Fred's pharmacy portfolio. [...]

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