Thursday, February 18, 2010

Walgreen buys Duane Reade

NEW YORK — Walgreen Co. is looking to make itself an instant success in New York City — where the nation's largest drug store chain has until now been just a bit player.
Walgreen announced plans Wednesday to buy privately held Duane Reade in a deal that will more than quadruple the number of stores it has in the metro area and make Walgreen the dominant player in the biggest market in the country. Walgreen, the nation's largest drugstore operator, agreed to pay about $623 million for Duane Reade Holdings Inc.

Duane Reade is the biggest drugstore chain in the city, where it has operated for 50 years. It has 257 stores.

The deal, which requires regulatory approval, is expected to close by the end of August. In addition to the stores, it includes the Duane Reade corporate office and two distribution centers.

Walgreen had 7,162 stores overall as of Jan. 31.

Walgreen to buy NYC drugstore operator Duane ReadeInvestor Report: 20 Percent Limit