Walgreens To Acquire Drugstore.com For $409 Million

It’s one of the largest drug deals to go down in American history.

And this one is perfectly legal.

Walgreens is stepping up to acquire online pharmacy retailer Drugstore.com for $409 million.

For Walgreens, the acquisition was particularly attractive, given that the purchase provides substantial new customer access for Walgreens e-commerce business.

Drugstore.com presently boasts more than 3 million customers, all of whom collectively represent the prospect of big business to Walgreens.

With more than $456 million in sales in 2010, drugstore.com is ranked as the eighth-largest e-tailer in the US according to Internet Retailer magazine.

“Our acquisition of drugstore.com today significantly accelerates our online strategy to leverage the best community store network in America by becoming the most convenient choice for health and daily living needs whether customers shop online or in our stores,” said Walgreens President and CEO Greg Wasson.

Drugstore.com will maintain separate branding of its websites after the transaction closes. Over the long term, Walgreens intends to enhance its multi-channel product assortment and the overall customer experience by leveraging drugstore.com’s websites.

The acquisition, which Walgreens said likely won’t result in any job losses, is expected to close within 90 days.

Walgreens is the nation’s largest drugstore chain with fiscal 2010 sales of $67 billion.