Kroger Co. said Wednesday that Axium Pharmacy Holdings will acquire Modern HC Holdings to create a combined specialty pharmacy that will operate as a wholly-owned Kroger subsidiary. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Kroger acquired Axium Pharmacy in November 2012. It is the fifth-largest pharmacy operator in the U.S., according to a statement, with 2,230 pharmacy locations and 195 locations of The Little Clinic, a healthcare provider Kroger acquired in 2010. The Axium merger with Modern HC will expand Kroger's specialty pharmacy business into new western and southwestern U.S. territories and into new offerings, such as therapies for immune difficiency diseases. The new combined company will be headquartered in Lake Mary, Fla. and will employ 800 associates. Dom Meffe, the chief executive of Modern HC, will be the chief executive of the combined company. Axium Chief Executive Mark Montgomery will announce his plans at a later date. Kroger shares are up 0.9% in Wednesday trading, but down 12.7% for the year to date. The S&P 500 is up 6.3% for the year so far.
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