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Walgreens acquiring pharmacy patient prescription files from Fred's

Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. will purchase pharmacy patient prescription files and other related inventory of 185 Fred's Inc. stores across 10 Southeastern states, according to a Sept. 10 news release.

Walgreens will pay $165 million under the asset purchase deal, in addition to an amount equal to the value of the related pharmacy inventory of Fred's, which is selling off noncore assets to eliminate debt.

Fred's plans to continue operating its retail stores at the majority of locations following the closure of pharmacies. After its transaction with Walgreens, Fred's expects to operate about 162 pharmacies across nearly 600 stores.

Walgreens operations President Richard Ashworth said the acquisition expands Walgreens pharmacies' patient access in the U.S. Southeast. The drugstore retailer will also hire Fred's pharmacy staff into available positions in the company.

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions. Patients will be notified by letter if their prescriptions are being transferred. The companies expect the transfers to be completed in the first quarter of calendar 2019.