US-based pharmacy store chain Walgreens Boots Alliance has agreed to acquire 2,186 stores from Rite Aid for $5.175bn, after abandoning plans to take over the company.

Under the terms of the agreement, Walgreens will also acquire three distribution centres and related inventory from Rite Aid.

In October 2015, Walgreens signed a merger agreement with Rite Aid, while another agreement was also reached last December to sell certain Rite Aid stores to Fred's.

"When the closing is completed, Walgreens expects to acquire the stores and related assets within six months."

The latest move comes ahead of the scheduled review of the merger deal by the US Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Competition, with the agency expected to scrutinise the deal on the grounds of anti-trust concerns. 

Walgreens stated that both agreements have been scrapped, and it will pay a $325m termination fee to Rite Aid, in accordance to their merger agreement.

The new transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, with the initial closing expected to occur within the next six months. When the closing is completed, Walgreens expects to acquire the stores and related assets within six months.

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Within three to four years of the initial closing of the deal, the company plans to realise synergies of more than $400m from the acquired assets.

As of 31 August last year, Walgreens had more than 13,200 stores in 11 countries.

Image: A Walgreens store. Photo: courtesy of Walgreens Boots Alliance.