Walgreen To Buy Drugstore.com For About $429M

The largest drugstore operator in the United States, Walgreen Co. announced on Thursday that it will buy online retailer Drugstore.com for $429 million as the company beefs up effort to tap the growing online market for prescription drugs.

Walgreen Co., the largest drugstore operator in the United States, on Thursday announced plans to buy online retailer Drugstore.com for about $429 million as part of the company’s effort to tap more than three million online customers.

In a statement, Walgreen said that the acquisition will cost them at least $429 million or $3.80 in cash per Drugstore.com share – more than double the $1.79 per share when trading closed on Wednesday.

On Thursday, the price of Drugstore.com’s share spiked up at $2.03 following the announcement, before closing at $3.82 per share.

According to Walgreen, the deal would also add more than 60,000 brands to its online drugstore, and would help significantly speed up its online marketing strategy – as one of the largest online beauty and health product retailers in the world, Drugstore.com can contribute to Walgreen’s expansion plans online.

Among the websites under Drugstore.com include SkinStore.com, VisionDirect.com, Beauty.com, while the pharmacy business will not be included in the deal since it has already been sold in July 2010.
Since last year, Walgreen has been beefing up its online expansion plan, including the launching of a free mobile phone application that allows users to order medication and refills of their prescriptions by scanning the bar code on the specific drug.

Walgreen also employed a text alert service in March 2010, which informs customers if their prescription is ready for pickup.

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