US: Rite Aid, Albertsons call off merger

In a surprise move, Rite Aid and Albertsons called off their planned US$24 billion merger on the eve of a shareholder vote in the face of mounting protests from investors, reported the New York Times.

Some of Rite Aid’s biggest shareholders had planned to vote against the pharmacy’s planned merger with privately held grocer Albertsons, unconvinced by the companies’ argument that a deal was necessary to fend off competition from Amazon and others.

“While we believed in the merits of the combination with Albertsons, we have heard the views expressed by our stockholders and are committed to moving forward and executing our strategic plan as a stand-alone company,” said John Standley, the pharmacy chain’s chief executive.

The companies announced they had mutually agreed to terminate the merger, and that neither would be responsible for any payments to the other side.

Full Content: The New York Times

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