Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. said late Tuesday it would buy rival Rite Aid Corp. in an all-cash deal valued at $17.2 billion, including debt. Walgreens will pay $9 a share for Rite Aid, a premium of 48% to the closing price on Monday. The purchase is expected to be finalized in the second quarter and is likely to be accretive to Walgreens' earnings in the first year after completion. "Walgreens Boots Alliance expects to realize synergies in excess of $1 billion," the company said in a statement. The deal will be financed by existing cash and new debt. Shares of Walgreens rose 0.5% while Rite Aid shares slumped nearly 7% on the news.
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