There's a new king in the U.S. drugstore industry. Plano-based JC Penney announced Monday that it sold its financially troubled Eckerd chain to C.V.S. and Canada's Jean Coutu Group. The combined price tag was just over $4.5 billion in cash.
C.V.S. agreed to buy almost 1,300 Eckerd stores, mostly in Texas and Florida, and Eckerd's mail-order business for about $2.15 billion. That would give Rhode Island based C.V.S. more than 5,000 stores in 36 states.
The Jean Coutu Group will get more than 1,500 Eckerd stores in 13 Northeastern and mid-Atlantic states and the chain's Florida headquarters. It's paying almost $2.4 billion for those and those stores will keep the Eckerd name.