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Royal Ahold to acquire Ukrop’s stores

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK Dutch supermarket operator Royal Ahold will acquire 25 stores from supermarket chain Ukrop’s for $140 million, according to Ahold.

Ahold, which operates the Stop & Shop, Giant-Carlisle and Giant-Landover banners in the United States will buy 25 of the Richmond, Va.-based chain’s stores in first quarter 2010 and incorporate them into the Giant-Carlisle chain, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The Virginia Gazette reported that Ahold would end Ukrop’s policy of closing on Sundays and not selling alcohol.

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Report: Price Chopper may acquire Penn Traffic stores

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK The Penn Traffic Co. may have found a buyer for some of its stores, according to published reports.

Price Chopper, based in Schenectady, N.Y., is bidding $54 million for 22 of Penn Traffic’s P&C Foods stores, in upstate New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont and New Hampshire.

After defaulting on its debts, Syracuse, N.Y.-based Penn Traffic announced in November that it would file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and sell off its assets, including all of its 79 stores, which operate under P&C, Bi-Lo Foods and Quality Markets banners.

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Rite Aid reports losses in Q3

BY Michael Johnsen

CAMP HILL, Pa. Rite Aid on Thursday posted a net loss of $83.9 million on revenues of $6.4 billion for the third quarter ended Nov. 28. Revenues declined 1.8%, primarily as a result of store closings and a decline in front-end same-store sales, the chain stated.

Same-store sales for the quarter decreased 0.5%, consisting of a 2.5% decrease on the front end. Both pharmacy same-store sales and the number of prescriptions filled continued to increase by 0.4% and 1.5%, respectively.

“Our results demonstrate the significant progress we’ve made to strengthen our company since last year’s third quarter,” stated Mary Sammons, Rite Aid chairman and CEO. “Liquidity at the end of the quarter more than doubled, and we’ve refinanced all of our 2010 debt maturities to give more time for our growth initiatives to work.”

Heading into the 2009 holiday season, liquidity totaled $903.2 million of availability from the company’s credit facility and invested cash.

Adjusted EBITDA for the quarter was $254.2 million, or 4% of revenues. Prescription sales accounted for 68.6% of total drug store sales, and third-party prescription revenue represented 96.2% of pharmacy sales.

In the third quarter, the company opened 3 stores, relocated 13 stores, remodeled 3 stores and closed 14 stores. Stores in operation at the end of the third quarter totaled 4,801.

Rite Aid also announced into an extension of its pharmaceutical supply agreement with McKesson Corp., which was completed Dec. 10. McKesson will continue to supply Rite Aid with primarily all of its branded drugs, some of its generic drugs and specialty pharmaceuticals through April 1, 2013.

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