Walgreens Grows Back to Hi-School

Discussion
Aug 27, 2003
George Anderson

By George Anderson


The drugstore chain, Walgreens, is known for growing organically, rarely taking
the acquisition path to growth. Occasionally, however, a deal comes along that
is too good to pass on.


Yesterday, it was announced the nation’s largest drugstore chain had agreed
to purchase 16 Hi-School Pharmacy stores or pharmacy files in the Pacific Northwest.


The chairman and chief executive of Walgreens, David Bernauer, said in a released
statement, “Acquisitions are very rare for us. But Steve’s (Steve Oliva, president
and ceo, Hi-School Pharmacy) operation presents a wonderful opportunity to strengthen
our position in a high growth market. We’re very impressed with Hi- School Pharmacy
and its reputation in the drugstore industry, as well as the loyalty of its
customers. It’s among the top small drugstore chains in the nation.”


Before the sale, Hi-School Pharmacy was the 31st largest drugstore chain in
the country, dispensing more than 3 million prescriptions annually. The company
will continue to operate 25 stores after the Walgreens’ purchase is finalized.


Moderator’s Comment: What are your thoughts on the
Walgreens/Hi-School Pharmacy deal?


Steve Oliva said that selling stores was always part of
his strategy. Mr. Oliva and his wife opened the first Hi-School Pharmacy location
in 1967.
[George
Anderson – Moderator
]

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