For $24.6B, Kroger to merge with Albertsons

Cincinnati-based grocery store chain Kroger is acquiring Boise, Idaho-based Albertsons for $24.6 billion. The merger will nearly double the companies' number of pharmacies in the U.S.

Kroger was the sixth biggest U.S. pharmacy by 2021 prescription revenue — $15.3 billion — and Albertsons was the ninth with $5.3 billion in 2021 prescription sales. 

The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals, and Kroger expects it to close by early 2024. Both companies plan to make store divestitures to adhere to regulatory requirements, Kroger said in an Oct. 14 news release.

Both boards of directors approved the merger, which includes 710,000 workers, 4,996 stores, 66 distribution centers, 52 manufacturing plants, 3,972 pharmacies and 2,015 fuel centers, according to the news release. 

In late September, Kroger ended its contract with pharmacy services provider Express Scripts because it said its "current proposal is far out of line" and "unsustainable." An Express Scripts spokesperson told Becker's the grocery chain's terms for a new contract were "troubling" and added that it accounted for 1.5 percent of its customer base. 

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