Retail in brief | Rite Aid, API, Phoenix

Retail in brief | Rite Aid, API, Phoenix

21 December 2021 - Deborah Wilkes

Rite Aid has announced store closures in the US, Wesfarmers says it will not back a bid by Woolworths Group to acquire Australian Pharmaceutical Industries (API) and Phoenix has released financial results.

Rite Aid’s store closures

Retailer Rite Aid plans to close at least 63 pharmacies in the US.

Heyward Donigan, president and chief executive officer of Rite Aid, said the announcement was the “first phase of a store closure programme to reduce costs, drive improved profitability and ensure that we have a healthy foundation to grow from – with the right stores in the right locations – for the communities we serve and for our business”.

Rite Aid had “identified an initial 63 stores for closure”, said Donigan, adding the closure number was expected to “grow” over the coming months.

Rite Aid has more than 2,400 retail pharmacies across 17 states in the US.

The store closures were announced as Rite Aid reported revenue of USD6.23 billion from continuing operations in the quarter ended 27 November 2021. This represented a rise of 1.8% compared to the same period a year earlier.

Wesfarmers won’t back Woolworths bid for API

Australian conglomerate Wesfarmers said it would not back a bid by Woolworths Group to acquire Australian Pharmaceutical Industries (API).

API recently announced that it was considering a takeover proposal from Australian supermarket chain Woolworths in addition to the agreed offer from Wesfarmers (click here to read the News story).

Wesfarmers, which owns 19.3% of API, said it would vote its existing shareholding and any other API shares that it might acquire against any scheme of arrangement for Woolworths to acquire API.

Woolworths has made a non-binding indicative proposal to acquire API in a deal valuing the company at AUD872 million (USD620 million).

According to Woolworths, the proposed offer price represents a premium of 12.9% over the price agreed between API and Wesfarmers under the Scheme Implementation Deed (SID) announced on 8 November 2021.

Under the SID between Wesfarmers and API, Wesfarmers has the right to match other proposals.

API owns the Priceline Pharmacy chain as well as the Soul Pattinson Chemist and Pharmacist Advice brands. It also operates the Clear Skincare non-surgical skincare clinic business and the Consumer Brands health and personal care business.

Phoenix reports nine-month results

Phoenix reported revenue up by 7.2% to EUR22.5 billion (USD25.4 billion) in the nine months ended 31 October 2021.

After adjusting for currency translations, the rise was 6.5% compared to the same period a year earlier.

The German retailer and wholesaler said its total operating performance – comprising revenue plus handling for service charge – had risen by 9.0% to EUR29.1 billion. Adjusted for currency translations, the rise was 8.1%.

Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortisation (EBITDA) declined by 2.9% to EUR461 million.

However, adjusted for one-off effects, EBITDA was up by 6.9% to EUR496 million.

During the nine-month period, Phoenix announced it was acquiring McKesson Europe’s businesses in Belgium, France, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Slovenia.

The transaction also includes McKesson’s European headquarters in Germany, its German woundcare business, its shared services centre in Lithuania, its German company Recucare, and its 45% ownership stake in Brocacef, the company’s joint venture in the Netherlands.

Commenting on the deal, Sven Seidel, chief executive officer of Phoenix, said it gave his company an entry into Belgium, Ireland, Portugal and Slovenia (click here to read the News story).

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