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Walgreens To Buy Duane Reade

2/17/2010 12:58:00 PM Eastern

Deerfield, Ill.
- Walgreens, the nation's largest drugstore chain, will acquire New York metro area
pharmacy Duane Reade for about $1.1 billion plus assumed debt.

The cash transaction is expected to close before Aug. 31.

Walgreens operates more than 7,100 drug stores in all 50
states.  Fiscal 2009 sales totaled $63
billion, and CE sales, comprised of commodity-oriented cameras, prepaid
wireless phones and personal audio, came to $74 million in calendar year 2008,
according to TWICE research.

 Total sales for Duane
Reade were $1.8 billion for the 12-month period ending Dec. 26, 2009. The
company, named for the lower Manhattan cross
streets where it opened its first store in 1960, currently operates 257
locations throughout the New York City region.

 "Duane Reade is a
compelling strategic acquisition that will immediately provide Walgreens with a
leading position in the largest drugstore market in the U.S.,"
said Walgreens president/CEO Greg Wasson. The chain also has the highest sales
per square foot in the retail drugstore industry nationwide, the company said.

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