Walgreens, Rite Aid shed 865 stores to close $9.4B deal

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  • FILE - This June 4, 2014, file photo, shows a Walgreens retail store in Boston. Walgreens and Rite Aid will sell 865 stores to rival retailer Fred's for $950 million, possibly removing the final roadblock preventing the tie up between the nation's largest and third-largest drugstore chains, in news announced Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2016. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)

    FILE - This June 4, 2014, file photo, shows a Walgreens retail store in Boston. Walgreens and Rite Aid will sell 865 stores to rival retailer Fred's for $950 million, possibly removing the final roadblock preventing the tie up between the nation's ... largest and third-largest drugstore chains, in news announced Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2016. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File) (The Associated Press)

  • This Friday, Oct. 21, 2016, photo shows a Rite Aid location in Philadelphia. Walgreens and Rite Aid will sell 865 stores to rival retailer Fred's for $950 million, possibly removing the final roadblock preventing the tie up between the nation's largest and third-largest drugstore chains, in news announced Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2016. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

    This Friday, Oct. 21, 2016, photo shows a Rite Aid location in Philadelphia. Walgreens and Rite Aid will sell 865 stores to rival retailer Fred's for $950 million, possibly removing the final roadblock preventing the tie up between the nation's ... largest and third-largest drugstore chains, in news announced Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2016. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke) (The Associated Press)

  • In this Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016, photo, a shopper carries her purchases from Rite Aid into her car, in North Andover, Mass. Walgreens and Rite Aid will sell 865 stores to rival retailer Fred's for $950 million, possibly removing the final roadblock preventing the tie up between the nation's largest and third-largest drugstore chains, in news announced Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2016. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

    In this Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016, photo, a shopper carries her purchases from Rite Aid into her car, in North Andover, Mass. Walgreens and Rite Aid will sell 865 stores to rival retailer Fred's for $950 million, possibly removing the final roadblock ... preventing the tie up between the nation's largest and third-largest drugstore chains, in news announced Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2016. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola) (The Associated Press)

Walgreens and Rite Aid will sell 865 stores to rival retailer Fred's for $950 million, possibly removing the final roadblock preventing the tie up between the nation's largest and third-largest drugstore chains.

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Wall Street certainly saw it that way, sending shares of Rite Aid up nearly 6 percent before the opening bell Tuesday.

Walgreens says it's working to close its $9.4 billion purchase of Rite Aid early next year. It said that it's selling the Rite Aid stores in response to concerns raised by federal anti-trust regulators.

Walgreens Co. said in October 2015 that it planned to buy Rite Aid Corp. in a deal that would create about 12,000 U.S. locations, or several thousand more than its closest competitor, CVS Health Corp.