Fred's Inc. said Wednesday that it has adopted a short-term shareholder rights plan, also known as a "poison pill," which will expire on Sept. 25. The general merchandise and pharmacy retailer said it has adopted the plan as a result of "increased trading volatility" in its shares, and in anticipation of activity related to its associated asset purchase agreement with Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. and Rite Aid Corp. , pending those companies' merger. The plan is designed to reduce the likelihood that an entity would gain control of the company. "It was not adopted in response to any specific takeover bid or other proposal to acquire control of the company," Fred's said in a statement. The stock, which was still inactive in premarket trade, had lost 4.3% on Tuesday after soaring 23% on Monday. It has plunged 35% year to date, while the SPDR S&P Retail ETF has lost 8.7% and the S&P 500 has gained 8.1%.
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