Rite Aid could be bought by a private company that operates grocery chains like Safeway and Vons.
Albertsons Cos., based in Idaho, said the company is planning to buy Rite Aid’s 2,500 stores, according to the Associated Press.
The announcement comes at a time when rival pharmacy chains are also looking at mergers. Drug distributor AmeriSourceBergen is looking at buying Walgreens, and CVS and Aetna are seeking to merge.
Albertsons said it will continue to run Rite Aid stand-alone stores, and most of the grocery operator’s pharmacies will be rebranded as Rite Aid. Albertsons also runs Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s, Vons and Acme stores.
The companies say the deal should close in the second half of this year, but regulators and Rite Aid shareholders still have to approve it, according to AP.