To merge or not to merge has been the question on Albertsons' and Rite Aid's minds of late, with news headlines consumed with the back-and-forth and investors rallying to stop the deal. While the vote was scheduled for this week, Albertsons and Ride Aid have agreed to mutually terminate the merger agreement—valued at $24 billion.
"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 standalone company," said Rite Aid Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John Standley. "We remain focused on leveraging our network of conveniently located retail pharmacies, our EnvisionRxOptions PBM, and our trusted brand of health and wellness offerings. We will continue building momentum for key areas of our business like our innovative Wellness store format, highly successful customer loyalty program, and expanded pharmacy service offerings, as we also enhance our omnichannel and own brand offerings to strengthen our competitive position and create long-term value for stockholders."
As a result of this decision, the special meeting of Rite Aid's stockholders, which was to be held on August 9, 2018, will not take place.
According to a press release, neither Rite Aid nor Albertsons will be responsible for any payments to the other party as a result of the termination of the merger agreement.
Rite Aid also announced its board of directors is evaluating governance changes at the company. As it considers these changes, Rite Aid will continue to engage with stockholders to ensure alignment between the company and its investors.
The company noted that its 2018 annual meeting of stockholders will be held on October 30, 2018, at 8:30 a.m., at a location to be determined.
How will Albertsons' and Ride Aid's decision not to merge be felt throughout the grocery retail space? Deli Market News will continue to report on all retail developments.