LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Rite Aid stores in Lexington and other parts of Kentucky closed early Thursday and will reopen in the morning as Walgreens as part of a multi-billion dollar buyout.
Walgreens tried to buy Rite Aid outright for $17 billion in 2015, but federal regulators wouldn’t allow it, since it would have left the United States with just two major pharmacy chains: Walgreens and CVS.
The agreement was reworked several times with Walgreens scaling back the number of Rite Aid stores it intended to purchase to just over 1,900, including every one in Kentucky. Walgreens took over about half the Rite Aid stores in Kentucky earlier this month, the remaining stores will be Walgreens-owned as of Friday.
Walgreens says the signage won’t change immediately at Rite Aid stores, it will be phased-in over time. Customers will see a sign on the entrance door indicating that the store is now owned by Walgreens and that every pharmacy is now a Walgreens pharmacy.