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Rite Aid, Albertsons end $24B merger deal

Rite Aid Corp. and Albertsons Cos. Inc. have mutually agreed to end their $24 billion merger deal.

"While we believed in the merits of the combination with Albertsons, we have heard the views expressed by our stockholders and are committed to moving forward and executing our strategic plan as a stand-alone company," Rite Aid Chairman and CEO John Standley said in an Aug. 8 statement.

U.S. grocery chain Albertsons, which is owned by private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management LP, announced plans to merge with Rite Aid in February.

Rite Aid shareholders were scheduled to vote on the deal at an Aug. 9 special meeting of shareholders. The company said that as a result of this decision, it is canceling the special meeting.

Under the terms of the deal, neither Rite Aid nor Albertsons will be responsible for any payments to the other party as a result of the termination of the merger arrangement.

Rite Aid said it is evaluating governance changes at the company. The company will continue to engage with stockholders to ensure alignment between the company and its investors.

Some institutional investors, along with proxy advisors Glass Lewis and Institutional Shareholder Services, had said in recent days that the deal, which would have created a company worth about $24 billion, does not represent a good value for Rite Aid shareholders.

Some Rite Aid shareholders had also planned to reject the deal, saying Albertsons undervalues the company, according to The Wall Street Journal.

In April, the grocery chain decided to not pursue an IPO because of its proposed merger transaction.

Rite Aid said the company's 2018 annual meeting will be held Oct. 30.