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Boom! Walgreens Buys Online Retailer Drugstore.com For $409 Million

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Drugstore juggernaut Walgreens this morning announced that it will acquire online retailer Drugstore.com in a transaction with a total enterprise value of approximately $409 million.

As a result of the merger, Walgreens will acquire the Drugstore.com website in addition to other websites operated by the company, including Beauty.com and SkinStore.com.

Walgreens, which operates 7,689 drugstores across the United States, had fiscal 2010 sales of $67 billion. Walgreens will fund the acquisition with existing cash and anticipates the transaction to close by the end of June 2011.

Founded in 1998, Drugstore.com registered more than $456 million in sales in 2010. Walgreens says it will maintain drugstore.com’s corporate office in Bellevue, Washington, after the merger is completed. Drugstore.com employs approximately 1,000 people.

Under the terms of the agreement, Drugstore.com stockholders will receive $3.8 in cash for each share of stock, which represents an equity value of approximately $429 million. The purchase price per share is a premium of roughly 102 percent over drugstore.com’s 30-day average closing stock price, and a premium of approximately 113 percent over yesterday’s closing price of Drugstore.com’s common stock.

Walgreens President and CEO Greg Wasson, commented:

“This acquisition offers a unique opportunity that will provide us immediate access to more than 3 million savvy, online loyal customers, and will allow us to move even closer to our existing customers through relationships with new vendors and partners, adding approximately 60,000 products to our already strong online offering.

Importantly, drugstore.com’s well-recognized presence in the health, personal care, beauty and vision categories, including such strong websites as drugstore.com, Beauty.com, SkinStore.com and VisionDirect.com, will complement and extend many of our own multi-channel initiatives that have been driving growth in our business.”

Drugstore.com will maintain separate branding of its websites after the merger closes.

Walgreens says it expects the merger to be dilutive to earnings per share in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011 by approximately 3 cents, and further anticipates the transaction to be dilutive to earnings per share by 3 to 4 cents in fiscal 2012, and 1 to 2 cents in fiscal 2013 because of its intention to reinvest in the business.