|May's Drug Warehouse of Joplin and Webb City along with a total of 144 stores owned by Stephen L. LaFrance Holdings Inc. and members of the LaFrance family and operated under several names in a seven state area has been acquired by Walgreen Company, the nation's largest drugstore chain with fiscal 2011 sales of $72 billion. The acquisition includes corporate offices, a distribution center located in Pine Bluff, Arkansas and a wholesale and private brand business. The purchase price for the chain that recorded sales of $825 million in 2011 was approximately $438 million. The transaction is subject to meeting regulatory requirements and conditions of closing the deal expected around September 1, 2012.
Walgreen's president Greg Wasson in June 2012 was seen shaking the hand of Italian billionaire Stefano Pessina, executive chairman of pharmaceutical distributor and healthcare retailer Alliance Boots, after making a deal in which Walgreen will gain a 45% stake of Alliance Boots after an initial investment of $6.7 billion in cash and stock. When the deal is complete Pessina, who owns about a third of Alliance Boots eventually will become the single largest shareholder in Walgreen.