Report: Walgreens nears deal to buy Rite Aid

FILE- In this June 20, 2011, file photo, a woman exits a Rite Aid store, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — Shares of Rite Aid are up 40 percent on a report that the biggest U.S. drugstore chain plans to gobble it up in its next major acquisition.

The Wall Street Journal says Walgreens Boots Alliance is in advanced talks to buy Rite Aid, which is based in outside of Harrisburg in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania. The deal would combine the largest and third-largest U.S. drugstore chains, based on store counts.

Walgreens declined to comment Tuesday when contacted by The Associated Press.

Walgreens is less than a year removed from closing its acquisition of Alliance Boots, which runs the biggest drugstore chain in the United Kingdom. That combination created Walgreens Boots Alliance, which is based in Deerfield, Illinois.

The Journal says a deal could be announced Wednesday.
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