BOSTON — McDermott Will & Emery represented The Jean Coutu Group (PJC) Inc. (JCG) in its announced agreement to acquire, in a share transaction, approximately 1,539 Eckerd drugstores and support facilities located in 13 states of the Northeast and mid-Atlantic United States, as well as Eckerd’s headquarters in Florida, for an acquisition price of $2.375 billion. Once completed, JCG will become the fourth largest drugstore chain in North America, with a combined network of 2,196 stores. The acquired drugstores will continue to operate under the Eckerd name.
JCG, a Montreal-based public company that has an extensive chain of pharmacies under franchise in Canada and operates the Brooks Pharmacy chain in New England and New York, will acquire the Eckerd operating companies and the Eckerd name in a stock purchase. Subject to government review and approvals, the transaction is expected to close in June 2004. The JCG is being advised by Deutsche Bank and Merrill Lynch on the acquisition. McDermott is representing JCG, along with Canadian counsel Fasken Martineau.
JCG relied on McDermott for assistance on all U.S. legal aspects of the transaction. Den White, a corporate partner in the Firm’s Boston office, assembled and coordinated a cross-departmental team of more than 15 lawyers from the Firm’s Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and Washington, D.C. offices to work on all legal aspects of the acquisition, including negotiation of financing terms, tax advice in the acquisition structuring, employee benefits and employment law matters, real estate matters, environmental matters, litigation due diligence and risk management, antitrust issues, pharmacy and liquor licensure issues, and trademark and intellectual property matters.