Walgreens ends yearslong attempt to buy Rite Aid

NEW YORK (AP) - Walgreens has ended its takeover pursuit of rival Rite Aid following resistance from U.S. regulators and will instead now buy stores, distribution centers and inventory in a new deal.

The proposed merger, first announced in 2015, was initially for about $9.4 billion but was whittled down to about $6.8 billion earlier this year.

Walgreens Boots Alliance will pay Rite Aid Corp. a $325 million termination fee. It will pay Fred's Pharmacy an additional $25 million following the termination of a related asset deal.

Under the new agreement, Walgreens will buy 2,186 stores, three distribution centers and related inventory from Rite Aid for approximately $5.18 billion.