Consumer staples and sector-related exchange traded funds were weaker Wednesday after a major consolidation in the industry.
On Wednesday, the Consumer Staples Select SPDR (NYSEArca: XLP) was 1.5% lower, First Trust Consumer Staples AlphaDEX Fund (NYSEArca: FXG) was down 1.3% and Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (NYSEArca: VDC) dipped 1.2%.
Walgreens Boots Alliance (NasdqGS: WBA) agreed to acquire Rite Aid (NYSE: RAD) for $9.4 billion on Tuesday, combining two of the three largest drugstores in the U.S., the Wall Street Journal reported.
“With this acquisition, we are accelerating a long-term objective that we knew we needed to address: to strengthen our presence and coverage nationally across the U.S.,” Walgreens Boots Chief Executive Stefano Pessina told the WSJ.
After the deal, Walgreens will have a combined store count of near 13,000, with annual revenues worth $100 billion, whereas its competition, CVS Health (NYSE: CVS), has 7,800 stores, reports Neil Stern for Forbes.
Over the long-term, Walgreens’ move could help the company gain a greater position within the health care market and lower costs as pharmacy represents about 70% of sales at both Walgreens and Rite Aid.
While both company stocks jumped on Tuesday, WBA plunged 10.3% Wednesday after concerns over antitrust issues surfaced and the company revealed that it will cut buybacks to help pay for the acquisition, reports Ameet Sachder for the Chicago Tribune.