Raleigh, N.C. — Drug store giant Walgreen Co. (NYSE, NASDAQ: WAG) is expanding its base in North Carolina, buying Raleigh-based Kerr Drug's 76 stores and specialty pharmacy business.
Terms of the deal weren't disclosed.
"The Kerr Drug retail drugstores and specialty pharmacy business are an exceptional addition to the Walgreens family of companies," Walgreens President and Chief Executive Greg Wasson said in a statement. "We are closely aligned on the important task of expanding the health care role that community pharmacists can have with their patients, and we share the common goal of stepping out of the traditional drugstore format to create a new experience for our customers."
Walgreens, which had 2012 sales of $72 billion, has 8,117 drugstores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, but it is a relatively new entrant to North Carolina's pharmacy competition, challenging more established chains Rite-Aid and CVS.
Last year, Kerr Drug’s retail drugstores and specialty pharmacy business recorded total sales of $381 million.
Walgreens also will acquire a Kerr Drug distribution center as part of the deal. Kerr Drug will retain ownership of its long-term care pharmacy business.
"Kerr Drug's strategy and core principles have always been focused on its unique ability to provide patients access to the most comprehensive and convenient health and wellness offering in the industry," Kerr Drug Chairman, President and CEO Anthony Civello said in a statement. "Walgreens is the perfect partner to continue this journey as a patient-oriented company dedicated to expanding the role of the pharmacist as an integral part of health care."
The acquired stores will continue to operate under the Kerr Drug brand for a while even after the deal is completed later this year, officials said. Walgreens hasn't yet decided how best to integrate the stores and the specialty pharmacy business into its operations.