CVS to Buy 1,660 Target Pharmacies Getty Images

CVS to Buy 1,660 Target Pharmacies

The pharmacies, located inside Target stores in 47 states, will give CVS a new channel for its retail pharmacy business, as well as room to expand its MinuteClinics.

CVS Health added to its powerful chain of drug stores Monday with a $1.9 billion deal to buy 1,660 pharmacies from retailer Target.

The pharmacies, located inside Target stores in 47 states, will give CVS a new channel for its retail pharmacy business as well as room to expand its chain of medical clinics, called MinuteClinics.

CVS will also partner with Target as it develops smaller "flexible format stores" to be called TargetExpress over the coming two years.

The deal "brings together two leading retailers with complementary strengths, brands and cultures to enhance the health care experience for Target guests while expanding CVS Health’s retail presence in new markets, such as Seattle, Denver, Portland and Salt Lake City," CVS said.

The deal came just three weeks after CVS announced the $12.7 billion acquisition of pharmacy benefits manager Omnicare to expand its services to seniors.

With about 200,000 employees, CVS is one of the country's top two pharmacy benefits managers—companies that handle prescription drug claims for the health programs of other employers and insurers.

It is also the No. 2 drugstore operator after Walgreens by prescription drug sales, with 7,800 retail pharmacies and more than 900 walk-in medical clinics.

Target shares rose 1.7 percent to $80.84 in early trade Monday after the deal was announced, while CVS gained 0.3 percent to $102.54.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2015

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