In its latest filing last week with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Rite Aid said its merger with Albertsons “is expected to close in the early part of the second half of calendar 2018,” which, according to Forbes, has left room for dissatisfied shareholders to rally for a better deal. One shareholder in particular—Chris Komatinsky, an individual shareholder from Los Angeles who claims to own about 1.5 million Rite Aid shares—released a press release this week calling for the merger to halt and an independent investigation of issues like senior executives’ retention bonuses, the value of the company, and Albertsons’ debt to be completed in the meantime.
“Personally, I would like to see an independent investigation of CEO and BOD actions from just before the termination of the WBA merger agreement to present to make sure prior actions weren’t contrary to the benefit of stockholders but that can be discussed/decided as a larger stockholder group,” Komatinsky wrote in his press release. “Small shareholders own a large percentage of Rite Aid shares but often have a difficult time getting organized to have a large enough total of shares owned to have a voice.”
Komatinsky is not the first shareholder to protest the merger; major Rite Aid shareholders revealed plans to oppose the merger in April because they believed Rite Aid would be better off overhauling its pharmacies on its own.
This week, Rite Aid released a statement asserting its merger with Albertsons will “deliver compelling long-term value for Rite Aid shareholders and its customers,” according to Forbes, as well as create a differentiated brand in the U.S. retail market that bolsters food, health, and wellness.
“In the face of a consolidating and evolving marketplace, Rite Aid’s board and management team evaluated a range of strategic options with the assistance of outside advisors,” Rite Aid said in its statement. “After conducting rigorous due diligence and engaging in extensive negotiations with Albertsons, Rite Aid, with the unanimous approval of its board, agreed to terms for the merger that it believes will provide significant value for its shareholders.”
Will Albertsons and Rite Aid respond to the latest requests made by shareholders? Deli Market News will continue to report as the story unfolds.