"Our acquisition of drugstore.com today significantly accelerates our online strategy to leverage the best community store network in America by becoming the most convenient choice for health and daily living needs whether customers shop online or in our stores," said Walgreens President and CEO Greg Wasson. "This acquisition offers a unique opportunity that will provide us immediate access to more than 3 million savvy, online loyal customers, and will allow us to move even closer to our existing customers through relationships with new vendors and partners, adding approximately 60,000 products to our already strong online offering."
Under the agreement, drugstore.com shareholders will receive $3.80 in cash per share, which represents an equity value of $429 million. This represents a 102% premium over drugstore.com's 30-day average closing stock price and 113% premium over the company's closing price of $1.79 on March 23.
The move comes shortly after Walgreen announced that it is selling its pharmacy benefit management business to Catalyst Health Solutions for $525 million. That announcement was praised by Wall Street, which has become skeptical of the value of PBM businesses for drugstores like Walgreen and rival CVS Caremark (WAG).Earlier in the week Walgreen reported second-quarter earnings that failed to wow investors. During the quarter Walgreen earned $739 million, or 80 cents a share, compared with $669 million, or 68 cents, in the year-ago period. Revenue climbed 9% to $18.5 billion, while prescription sales at stores opened at least a year grew 4%. Analysts were calling for a profit of 80 cents a share on revenue of $18.39 billion. Given Walgreen's strength in recent quarters, whisper expectations were higher than consensus estimates. --Written by Jeanine Poggi in New York.
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