St. Petersburg Times
Special report
Video report
  • For their own good
    Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
  • More video reports
Multimedia report
Print Email this storyEmail story Comment Email editor
Fill out this form to email this article to a friend
Your name Your email
Friend's name Friend's email
Your message

Eckerd buyer may be ready to unload

Published June 26, 2006

That didn't take long.

Speculation is mounting that the Canadian chain that bought more than 1,500 Eckerd drugstores only two years ago is thinking of unloading about half of them to Rite Aid Inc.

Jean Coutu Group of Montreal said the pairing of its 300 Brooks Pharmacy stores in New England with more than 1,500 Eckerds scattered from Georgia to New York was not going well.

That came months ago when the chain's patriarch/name-sake stepped in to demote his CEO son Jacques, who had bought half the remains of Largo-based Eckerd from J.C. Penney for $2.38-billion in 2004.

Wall Street rumors of a sale have brewed to the point where analysts estimate a price of about $800-million. They are handi-capping whether Rite Aid will bid for up to 700 Eckerd stores from Georgia into the mid-Atlantic states, according to Drug Store News.

The trade publication quotes Credit Suisse analyst Ed Kelly as figuring there's a 25 percent chance Rite Aid would make the deal if Coutu's financial picture continues to deteriorate.


[Last modified June 26, 2006, 16:25:13]

Share your thoughts on this story

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Subscribe to the Times
Click here for daily delivery
of the St. Petersburg Times.

Email Newsletters